Sidi Touré

Sidi Toure, a highly respected practitioner of Songhai Music, has won two Malian National Arts Awards as best singer. Before he went out on his own, Toure was the leader of Gao’s regional orchestra The Songhai Stars. He released Sahel Folk in 2011, his first album for Thrill Jockey. This was while he was touring North America as well as Europe. Toure’s fourth album, Toubalbero, was a lively, energetic, and joyful release featuring some of the most dynamic new faces in the Mailian music scene. The album is the result of Toure, a revered leader who is deeply involved in Northern Mali’s music tradition. He has managed to keep his optimism despite the significant political challenges facing the region. Sidi Toure (vocals and guitar), drummer Mamadou “Mandou”, Djadje Traore and Djadje Traore are joined by electric guitarist Djadje Traore and Ousmane “Papou” Dagnon (traditional Malian guitar). This is his performance style from the past three years in Mali. Music is a celebration that is driven by the energy of the rhythms. Toubalbero is a trance music that is full of joy and carried by Sidi’s beautiful voice. Sidi Toure’s previous albums were recorded in a small, tin-roofed studio located in Bamako. Due to the rain falling on the roof, the recording sessions must be scheduled around Mali’s rainy seasons. Toubalbero was recorded at Studio Bogolan in Mali, where many artists such as Ali Farka Toure (Rokia Traore), Toumani Diabate, and Bjork recorded. The recording took place over four days. Yaya Cisse recorded the album and Nicolas “Covalesky” Richard produced it. To capture the energy and passion of the performances, the songs were taped live to tape. Jason Meagher, Jack Rose, and Steve Gunn mixed the album live at Black Dirt Studio. This approach was a live performance mix. It retains the energy and joy of a gig, much like King Tubby’s mixes. These songs are deeply rooted in Malian culture, traditions, and culture. “Hendjero Moulaye”, or the slippery fish, is a humorous cautionary tale similar to the western folky idiom “don’t count your chickens before their eggs hatch.” This story tells of the misfortunes of a man who boasted about his large fish while he was on his way to catch it. He also warns that you should not sell your fish before getting it from the river. BK is a tribute to Baba Belkatras who is a legend in Songhai music. Tchirey is about the Holley kings, the djinns of thunder. It is Sidi’s call to Marou Tchirey to help the Songhai people. This song was written by Sidi in 1984, and won the Bamako Biennale. This was the first time Vaudou (possessions) Songhai songs had been played with non-traditional instruments. Songs of love include “DJiribi mardjie” and “Handaraizo”, and songs of family, “Hannah”, which is the vigil for a baby and “Sitiali Boubou”, which honors an ancestor. The song “Heyyeya”, which is an expression that describes joy, captures the essence of the album the best. It’s based on a Songhai folklore song that celebrates the joy of a new union. It celebrates the beauty and pure joy of this moment. Toubalbero by Sidi Toure is an irresistible cry for peace and unity for Malians as well as Africans. This album is a joyful expression of unity for the greater good, much like the drum that unites people in Goa. Unity is strength, and joy is unstoppable. Sidi Toure will tour throughout 2018. He has been performing at major world music festivals across Europe, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States since his debut album. He has performed at New York’s Lincoln Center, Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, and even the Herring Auditorium Fairbanks Alaska. From

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