Sidi Touré

Sidi Touré

 Nantes, Pays de la Loire, FRA
BandWorldFolk

Accompanied by a guitarist, calabash player, n'goni player, and singer, Sidi give songs that naturally mix tradition and modernity, African magic and city-dwelling dilemmas. The songs are personal tributes to the Songhaï folk music traditions.

Biography

Sidi Tour made his first guitar as a child, constructing it from his wooden writing slate in the ancient town of Gao, Mali. Sidi Tour was born here in 1959, but to be born a Tour, a noble family,carried a significance and onus of a past that reaches directly into the present. Tour's family had been sung about, and sung to, by traditional griots for centuries, but until a small boy challenged the rules, the Tour's did not sing!
Despite his familys disapproval (Sidis older brother would often break his homemade guitars in protest), Tour became the youngest member and later the lead singer of Gaos regional orchestra, the Songha Stars. In 1984 and in 1986, he won the award for best singer at the Bamako Biennale.
However, after the band broken up by 1990, his first album "Hoga", recorded on a small tape recorder, was released on Sterns Music in 1997, but because of a sad story of copyright stealing he never earned anything and never toured.

Fourteen years later, in 2011, Sidi released Sahel Folk, his debut album or Thrill Jockey, a record label from Chicago, and toured North America for the first time. This tour took him to prestigious venues and festivals, including New Yorks Lincoln Center, Chicagos Old Town School of Folk Music, and the Chicago World Music Festival. Through Thrill Jockeys introduction of Sidi to new audiences, he is beginning to achieve well-deserved success and critical acclaim abroad.

In 2012, Sidi Tour was back with a new album on Thrill Jockey. The album title Koima literally means go hear. Koima is an emblematic place of Gao, "a Dune with his feet in the waters of the river Niger, and with his head touching the sky, says Sidi. In Malian folklore, Koima is the meeting place for the most powerful wizards of the world.

2013 is a good year for Sidi Tour. In january, he toured with Bassekou Kouyat and Tamikrest, representing three different parts of Mali, with the project "Sahara Soul", they performed in London at the Barbican, in Glasgow at Celtic Connection and in Paris at la Gait Lyrique. Because of these incredible shows and incredibly warm welcoming from each audience, this project will tour again in 2014.
In september 2013, he will release a new album, on Thrill Jockey again, and he will tour the Us with Cedric Watson for the project International Blues Express, and he will tour Europe as a support of the new release. Viva 2013!

Accompanied by a guitarist, calabash player, n'goni player, and singer, Sidi give us songs that naturally mix tradition and modernity, African magic and city-dwelling dilemmas. The songs are personal tributes to the Songhai folk music traditions, which, depending on the rhythm, are called Takambas, Holleys, Gao-Gaos, or Shallos.
Sidi does not, however, only focus on the traditions of Songha to inform his music. As a young man, he would often be seen sporting a leather jacket and sunglasses and listening to J.J. Cale and Kenny Rogers. Sidis sound both captures and challenges his roots. The songs must come from within, says Tour. If I sing about things and there is no change, then it will have been a waste. He strives to be more than a singer, but in fact a creative artist that affects change.

Discography

"Koïma" (Thrill Jockey, 2012)
"Sidi Touré and Friends : Sahel Folk" (Thrill Jockey, 2011)
"Hoga" (Stern Music, 1996)