Even though the surname can sound familiar to some music fans, Samba Touré is not related to the late master of desert blues, Ali Farka Touré. But he has been a protégé of Ali Farka.
Samba Touré grew up in the 1970s in the Malian village of Binga with a single mother who, according to himself, gave him not just lots of love but also a musical upbringing. Samba Touré's mother was one of the first women to perform alongside the young Ali Farka Touré who would later become Mali's perhaps greatest musician.
Many years later, Samba himself played with the great Ali Farka Touré as a musician in Ali's Farka's band throughout the 90s. It was a great wish that came true because since Samba Touré moved to the Malian capital of Babako – where he began playing Touré-inspired guitar blues – his dream was to play with Ali Farka.
After having played with Ali Farka, Samba Touré started a solo career with his own band. Today, he has released a handful of solo albums, most recently Binga (named after the village he grew up in), which was released in 2021 on Glitterbeat Records, and which has garnered rave reviews (see here, here and here). The album is full of songs about his home country of Mali, and while several subjects can be quite dismal (poverty, violence and lack of education and health care), Touré also has an optimism for the future of his homeland.
Look forward to experiencing one of Mali's great musicians and interpreters of Mali's desert blues when Samba Touré performs at Roskilde Festival.