The Last Song Before The War

The Last Song Before the War is a feature-length documentary that captures the inspiring rise and uncertain future of Mali’s annual Festival in the Desert. The festival history is told from the perspective of the co-founder and festival director, Manny Ansar, the musicians who perform and the intrepid travelers from around the world who make the long journey to attend the festival. Against the backdrop of stunning musical performances, the film subtly reveals the challenges and triumphs of creating an artistic event in such challenging economic and political circumstances. After 12 years of success and unforgettable musical moments, the Festival in the Desert came to a halt in 2012 when separatist rebels and Islamic militants seized control of Northern Mali.
The Last Song Before the War chronicles the 2011 Festival—arguably the last edition that still captured its original goals—a global display of peace, reconciliation, and the healing power of music.

Featuring: Tinariwen, Vieux Farka Toure, Tartit, Bombino, Khaira Arby, Group Amanar, Oumou Sangare, Habib Koite, Bassekou Kouyate, Leni Stern, JeConte, Banning Eyre and U2′s Bono!

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2014 World Tour

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On tour with The Toure-Raichel Collective

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‘Mon Pays (My Country)’ is out now

Mon Pays (My Country) is officially released and available at all your favorite places to purchase music.  This album is an hommage to beautiful Mali and her people.


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“Mon Pays (My Country)” | The New Album is out May 28th

Pre-order Vieux Farka Touré’s new album (CD or digital download), “Mon Pays (My Country)” and save $2.00 PLUS get a free, exclusive download of Vieux Farka Touré’s live performance from this year’s WOMAD festival in Adelaide, Australia.

The ‘Live at WOMADelaide’ album is only available with this pre-order bundle which will expire at 11:59pm(pst) on 5/27.

Vieux Farka Touré’s beautiful latest album was recorded as an homage to his homeland.  Being that his native Mali has been splintered by territorial fighting between Tuareg and Islamic rebels since January 2012, his new album, Mon Pays, is devoted to reminding the world about the beauty and culture of his homeland.
‘For me it is a statement for the world that this land is for the sons and daughters of Mali, not for Al Qaeda or any militants. This land is for peace and beauty, rich culture and tolerance.This is our heritage, what we must always fight to protect in any way that we can. For me, that means making music that reminds the world of who we are.’
Translated as ‘My Country,’ this predominantly acoustic undertaking had been planned before the invasions began. Inspired by his work with Israeli pianist and vocalist Idan Raichel, Touré initially went into a Bamako studio to honor the acoustic blues tradition of Northern and Southern Mali. Since that time,Mon Pays transformed into an artifact of cultural preservation.
Two songs on the project -Future’ and ‘Peace’ feature Sidiki Diabate’s kora leading an emotional charge complemented by Touré’s spectacular guitar work. Both tracks represent an important generational “passing of the torch” as Sidiki’s father, Toumani is considered one of the greatest living kora masters and was a close friend of Vieux’s father Ali. Their two records together, In the Heart of the Moon and Ali and Toumani, were awarded Grammies. At the 2011 ceremonies, Vieux accepted the prestigious award for his father, who had recently passed from bone cancer.
Mon Pays is the most mature and lovely record yet from one of this generation’s most exciting artists to come out of Mali and one of world music’s true rising stars.
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Behind The Scenes: The Story of The Touré-Raichel Collective

Thank you to PopMatters and to Sam Bathrick/ Native Resonance for this beautiful video of the story behind The Touré-Raichel Collective. Watch out for European tour dates this Fall!

From the PopMatters Premiere:

PopMatters’ David Maine recently raved about the collaboration between Afrobeat’s Vieux Farka Toure and Israeli singer-songwriter Idan Raichel, saying “it would be an understatement to say that The Tel Aviv Session is a good record, or even a great one. This is, simply put, one of the best Afro-pop collaborations you are likely to hear, rivaling the elder Toure’s 1994 effort with Ry Cooder, Talking Tuimbuktu.” The album is one of those genre-mashing blends that we at PopMatters can never resist. If our praise hasn’t been enough, then check out the mini documentary on the project below, featuring interviews with the musicians and just see if you can resist the power of this music. Admit it, you can’t.

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“The deeply affecting, at times hypnotic album rises from simmering grooves enriched by Mr. Touré’s stinging solos on acoustic and electric guitars and Mr. Raichel’s cascading piano. It’s not so much a cross-cultural exercise as an exploration of common ground.”The Wall Street Journal

“These players delve into the swirling waters of our globalized music culture and pull out bright fish, almost perfect, as if designed instead of conjured in the heat of improvisation.”NPR’s All Things Considered

“The chance meeting of Vieux Farka Toure and Idan Raichel in an airport, and the relaxed musical courtship that followed, might just be the world music success story of the decade.”

“Simply divine…we are beside ourselves here.”Giant Step

The Toure-Raichel Collective performs in-studio for NPR’s Weekend Edition

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VFT Proudly Presents: The Toure-Raichel Collective

Vieux Farka Touré (Mali) and Idan Raichel (Israel), virtuosic superstars from very different backgrounds, join together to create masterworks of collaboration and improvisation. After a chance meeting in an airport in Europe, Idan and Vieux forged a deep friendship that led to an impromptu get together at a small studio in Tel Aviv in November 2010. The resulting recording session – acoustic, spontaneous, entirely improvised, and stunningly beautiful – could only be described as magic, and The Touré-Raichel Collective was born. On the upcoming album The Tel Aviv Session, to be released by Cumbancha, Idan and Vieux have captured an inspired musical moment that will bring to mind classic albums such as Talking Timbuktu by Ali Farka Touré with Ry Cooder, Keith Jarrett’s The Köln Concert or Vincent Segal and Ballake Sissoko’s acclaimed Chamber Music. The live concert reflects the natural spontaneity and free-form creativity of the recording sessions, allowing audiences to experience firsthand the invention of sublime and transcendent music that crosses boundaries of country, culture and tradition. Please see the tour page for The Touré-Raichel Collective’s upcoming North American tour dates. Click here for The Touré-Raichel Collective’s website.  The Tel Aviv Session will be available internationally on March 27, 2012.

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Vieux announces February 2012 UK and France shows

Vieux announces ‘power rock trio’ tour of UK and France February 2nd-18th! Please see the tour page for individual dates.

Photo by Francesca Perry

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Vieux to bring Mali’s desert blues to India

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