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Ali Farka Toure
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    (October 31, 1939-March 7, 2006)
    Born in Kanau, Mali
    Birth name was Ali Ibrahim Toure
    Blues/World Music singer/musician
    Played guitar, djerkel guitar, ngoni lute, njarka violin, bamboo flute, percussion and accordion
    Recorded the albums 'African Blues' (1990), 'The River' (1990), 'The Source' (with Taj Mahal, 1993), 'Talking Timbuktu' (with Ry Cooder, 1994), 'Niafunke' (1999), 'Mississippi to Mali' (with Corey Harris, 2002), 'In the Heart of the Moon' (with Ry Cooder and Toumani Diabate, 2005) and 'Savane' (2006)
    Appeared in the Martin Scorsese documentary 'Feel Like Going Home' (2003)
    His nickname Farka means 'donkey.'
    He released three albums titled 'Ali Toure Farka' and three titled 'Ali Farka Toure.'
    Although internationally known as a musician, he considered himself a farmer.
    He became increasingly unwilling to leave his hometown, forcing his label to build a studio in an abandoned schoolhouse near his farm.
    He had nine brothers who died in infancy.
    He said of his nickname, 'Let me make one thing clear: I'm the donkey that nobody climbs on.'
    Martin Scorsese described his music as 'the DNA of the blues.'
    As of 2009, his record 'Savane' was in the top five of Metacritic's list of the all-time best-reviewed albums.
    He was elected mayor of Niafunke, Mali, and spent his own money on improving roads, installing sewers, and purchasing a generator to provide electricity.
    He was given a state funeral by Mali.

Credit: C. Fishel

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