Ali Farka Toure was a Malian guitarist reknowned for playing the "Mali Blues", a style of Sahelian music which incorporated traditional instruments, but sounded like blues music. (Actually, he was one of the creators of the sound). I was just talking about Toure to Sean and Cheryl this weekend. I recommend everyone (especially Ian!) check out some of his music- it contains a wealth of good stuff. Especially "Talking Timbuktu" with Ry Cooder. Excellent.
African music giant Toure dies
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) -- The renowned African musician Ali Farka Toure has died after a long illness, Mali's Culture Ministry said. He was in his late 60s. Mali's Culture Ministry said Toure died Tuesday at his home in the capital, Bamako, after a long struggle with an unidentified illness, the ministry.
Toure, one of Africa's most famous performers, played a traditional Malian stringed instrument called the gurke.
He was best-known overseas for his 1995 collaboration with American guitarist Ry Cooder on "Talking Timbuktu," which netted him his first of two Grammys. He won another Grammy this year in the traditional world music album category for his "In the Heart of the Moon" album, performed with fellow Malian Toumani Diabate.
Click here to read the rest of the article.
Here's another link with a brief bio as well (though the year of his birth is list ten years later than what's listed in the CNN article).
And for an extensive bio, click here.