Center For the Arts CFA

Vieux Farka Touré at Wesleyan University on Friday, October 25, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013 - Friday, October 25, 2013

Vieux Farka Touré at Wesleyan University on Friday, October 25, 2013

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts and Music Department present
Vieux Farka Touré
Friday, October 25, 2013 at 8pm

Middletown, Conn.—The 39th annual Crowell Concert Series presented by Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts and Music Department opens with a concert by guitarist and vocalist Vieux Farka Touré on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 8pm in Crowell Concert Hall located at 50 Wyllys Avenue on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown. Mr. Farka Touré's band includes Wesleyan alumni Tim Keiper '02 on drums and percussion, Moussa Diabate on ngoni and accompanying guitar, and John Bashengezi on bass guitar. The concert, which will combine West African music with blues, rock, and reggae, is also a part of the Performing Arts Series. (Please see below for more details about both the Crowell Concert Series and the Performing Arts Series).

There will be a free lecture/demonstration by Vieux Farka Touré on Friday, October 25 at 3pm in the Daltry Room (Music Rehearsal Hall 003), located at 60 Wyllys Avenue on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown.

There will be a pre-concert talk at 7:15pm in Crowell Concert Hall by Wesleyan graduate student Samuel Dickey '14.

Vieux Farka Touré's first performance in the United States took place at Wesleyan in February 2007. (Please see below for more information about Mr. Farka Touré)

Tim Keiper ’02 has recorded and toured with Cyro Baptista and Beat the Donkey, John Zorn, and Dirty Projectors, among other artists.

A Crowell Concert Series event presented by the Music Department and the Center for the Arts. Co-sponsored by the Center for African American Studies and the African Studies Course Cluster.

Tickets for the performances are $25 for the general public; $21 for senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, and non-Wesleyan students; and $6 for Wesleyan students. Tickets are currently available online at http://www.wesleyan.edu/boxoffice; and by phone at (860) 685-3355 or in person at the Wesleyan University Box Office, located in the Usdan University Center, 45 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown. Tickets may also be purchased at the door beginning one hour prior to the performance, subject to availability. The Center for the Arts accepts cash, checks written to “Wesleyan University,” and all major credit cards. No refunds, cancellations, or exchanges. Programs, artists and dates are subject to change without notice.

About Vieux Farka Touré
Often called the "Hendrix of the Sahara”, Vieux Farka Touré was born in Niafunké, Mali in 1981. He is the son of legendary guitar player Ali Farka Touré (1939–2006). Ali Farka Touré came from a historical tribe of soldiers, and defied his parents in becoming a musician. When Vieux was in his teens, he declared that he also wanted to be a musician. His father disapproved due to the pressures he had experienced being a musician; he wanted Vieux to become a soldier. But with help from family friend and kora maestro Toumani Diabaté, Vieux eventually convinced his father to give him his blessing to become a musician, shortly before Ali passed.

Vieux was initially a drummer and calabash player at Mali’s Institut National des Arts, but began playing guitar in 2001. Ali Farka Touré was weakened with cancer when Vieux announced that he was going to record an album. Ali recorded a couple of tracks with him, and these recordings, which can be heard on Vieux’s self-titled debut album, were amongst his final ones. It has been said that the senior Touré played rough mixes of these songs when people visited him in his final days, at peace with, and proud of, his son’s talent as a musician.

In 2005, bassist Eric Herman '05 of Modiba Productions expressed an interest in producing an album for Vieux; this led to Vieux’s debut album being released by World Village in 2007. Ali Farka Touré’s work to tackle the problem of malaria was continued, as 10% of that album's proceeds were donated to Modiba’s “Fight Malaria” campaign in Niafunké, through which over 3,000 mosquito nets were delivered to children and pregnant women in the Timbuktu region of Mali.On the album, Vieux paid homage to his father and followed Ali’s musical tradition, presenting new versions of the West African music that is echoed in the American blues. The album featured Toumani Diabaté, as well as Vieux's late father. One of the tracks, "Courage," was on the soundtrack of the film "The First Grader" (2010).

On his second record, "Fondo" on Six Degrees (2009), Vieux branched out and presented his own sound. While remaining true to the roots of his father’s music, he used elements of rock, Latin music, and other African influences. The album received a great deal of critical acclaim, and Vieux was moving out of his father’s shadow.

In June 2010, Vieux performed at the opening concert for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, along with Alicia Keys, Angelique Kidjo, Hugh Masekela, and others. That month, Vieux also released his first live album, "Live." His live performances are highly energized, and Vieux is known for dazzling crowds with his speed and dexterity on the guitar, as well as his palpable charisma and luminous smile, both of which captivate audiences in spite of any language barriers (although Vieux does speak eight languages).

In 2011, Vieux released his third studio album, "The Secret," so named because the listener can hear the "secret" of the blues with a blend of generations from father to son. The album was produced by guitarist Eric Krasno (of the Soulive trio) and features South African-born vocalist Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks on electric slide guitar, and jazz guitarist John Scofield. The title track was the last collaboration between Vieux and his late father.

In April 2012, Vieux released "The Tel Aviv Session" on Cumbancha, a collaborative project with Israeli superstar Idan Raichel dubbed "The Toure-Raichel Collective," drawing comparisons to Ali Farka Touré and Ry Cooder’s "Talking Timbuktu" album.

In 2013, Vieux Farka Touré’s latest album "Mon Pays" was released as an homage to his homeland. Being that his native Mali had recently been splintered by territorial fighting between Tuareg and Islamic rebels since January 2012, "Mon Pays" was devoted to reminding the world about the beauty and culture of his native Mali. Translated as "My Country," this predominantly acoustic undertaking transformed into an artifact of cultural preservation. Two songs on the project, "Future" and "Peace," feature Sidiki Diabaté's kora leading an emotional charge complemented by Mr. Touré’s guitar work. Both tracks represent an important generational “passing of the torch,” as Sidiki’s father, Toumani Diabaté, is considered one of the greatest living kora masters, and was a close friend of Vieux’s father Ali.
 
About the Performing Arts Series
The Performing Arts Series at the Center for the Arts features a wide array of world-class musicians, cutting-edge choreography, and groundbreaking theater performances and discussions.  This season's upcoming performances include the Connecticut debut of the Juice Vocal Ensemble (Saturday, November 9, 2013); the Connecticut premiere of “Pavement” (2012) by Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion (Friday, November 15 & Saturday, November 16, 2013); the Connecticut debut of the Ignacio Berroa Trio (Saturday, February 1, 2014); the New England premiere of “Times Bones” (2013) by Margaret Jenkins Dance Company (Friday, February 14 & Saturday, February 15, 2014); the first New England performance by Vadym Kholodenko since winning the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold Medal (Friday, February 14, 2014); and the 15th annual DanceMasters Weekend Showcase Performance (Saturday, March 8, 2014). For more information, please visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa.
 
Save 15% when you buy tickets to four or more Performing Arts Series events. Call or visit the Wesleyan University Box Office at (860) 685-3355 to take advantage of this discount.  

About the Crowell Concert Series
The Crowell Concert Series at the Center for the Arts features a wide array of world-class musicians. This season's performances include the Connecticut debut of the Juice Vocal Ensemble (Saturday, November 9, 2013); the Connecticut debut of the Ignacio Berroa Trio (Saturday, February 1, 2014); and the first New England performance by Vadym Kholodenko since winning the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold Medal (Friday, February 14, 2014). Past artists that have performed as part of the Crowell Concert Series include Afro-Cuban All-Stars, Amelia Piano Trio, American Brass Quintet, AnDa Union, Anonymous 4, Ahmad Jamal, Balfa Toujours, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Bill Frisell Trio, Boston Chamber Music Society, Bulgarian Bebop, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Charles Lloyd Quartet, Cherish the Ladies, Claude Frank, Crooked Still, David Krakauer & Klezmer Madness, Dither Electric Guitar Quartet, Don Byron: "Jungle Music for Postmoderns," Donald Berman: "Celebrating Chopin’s 200th Birthday," Dünya, Eddie Palmieri, eighth blackbird, Eileen Ivers, Entrequatre, Ernest Dawkins, Eugenia Leon, Fernando Otero Quartet, FleytMuzik, FLUX Quartet, Henry Threadgill, Hugh Masekela, Joshua Roman, Kronos Quartet, Le Vent du Nord, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Lionel Loueke Trio, Lionheart, Margaret Leng Tan, Maya Beiser & Anthony de Mare, Midori, Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, "Music at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello," Near Eastern Music Ensemble, Omar Sosa, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Otis Taylor, Parthenia, Paul Brady, Pedro Carboné, Peter Serkin, Randy Weston, Regina Carter Quintet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, San Jose Taiko, sfSoundGroup, Shanghai Quartet, Stanley Cowell Quartet, The American Piano, The Assad Brothers, The Baltimore Consort, The Hilliard Ensemble, The Mystical Arts of Tibet: Drepung Loseling Monastery, Thomas Mapfumo/Blacks Unlimited, Tiempo Libre, Tokyo String Quartet, Toumani Diabaté, Trio Globo, Turtle Island String Quartet with Stefon Harris, Voices of Afghanistan, and Zakir Hussain & L. Shankar.

About the Music Department
The Wesleyan University Music Department provides a unique and pioneering environment for advanced exploration committed to the study, performance, and composition of music from a perspective that recognizes and engages the breadth and diversity of the world's musics and technologies. As an integral part of one of the nation's leading liberal arts institutions, the department has enjoyed an international reputation for innovation and excellence, attracting students from around the globe since the inception of its visionary program in World Music four decades ago.
 
Recent annual music festivals in partnership with the Center for the Arts have brought to campus a diverse array of artists, including Max Roach, Pete Seeger, Boukman Eksperyans (Haiti), Boogsie Sharpe (Trinidad), and Hugh Masekela (South Africa).
 
A recording studio, a computer and experimental music studio, the Center for the Arts media lab and digital video facility, the World Instrument Collection (which includes the David Tudor Collection of electronic musical instruments and instrumentation) and the Scores and Recordings Collection of Olin Library (which includes the World Music Archives) offer many learning opportunities outside of the classroom.
 
For more information about the Music Department, please visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/music/.

A World of Arts in the Heart of Connecticut