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Boubacar Traoré

The great father of African blues

Being able to fetch a big star such as Boubacar Traoré to a small stage in Oslo makes us really proud! Boubacar Traoré was a huge star in Mali in the 60s. His music was on heavy rotation on local radio stations and in clubs, and his lyrics were influential in forming a national identity after Mail gained its independence in 1960. However, despite his status, the star struggled to make ends meet. He did not release a record until 30 years later, and without any royalty income he had to work hard in a second job to put food on the table.

After the release of his first record, “Mariama”, in 1987 he was rediscovered and gained recognition as a singer/songwriter and guitarist the world over. With his warm, dry voice he performs slender tunes that blend African and Arabic tones with American blues.

His turbulent life has been documented in both books and the biographic film Je chanterai pou toi (I’ll Sing For You) in 2001.

Oslo World Music Festival has scored prominent successes with desert blues on previous occasions, and has given the stage to stars such as Tinariwen, Ali Farka Touré and Bombino. Now we are looking forward to present one of the fathers of African blues!


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