2016-17 CONTEMPORALE Series: Vieux Farka Touré

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra

Curated by Split Works

Presents: Vieux Farka Touré

“He’s a virtuoso…a fully formed talent who’ll carry the family name far into the new century.” – BBC

“Africa’s next guitar hero.” – The Guardian


The Hendrix of the Sahara.

Vieux Farka Touré plays electrifying, hypnotic desert blues. Music that is triumphantly singular in form, in genre, in style. Unlike anything else, and part of a legendary lineage of western African musicians.

It’s such an honor and pleasure to welcome Vieux for his first-ever performances in China. He’ll be part of the 2016-17 season of Contemporale, followed by a special gig in Beijing on Sunday, 15 January 2017 at Yugong Yishan.

Hearing his soaring, intricate songs live, at once invigorating and pacifying, is one of the most distinctive musical experiences available on Earth. Vieux, who speaks 8 languages, is in so many ways truly representative of music’s ability to overcome all barriers and borders.

Vieux is the son of the legendary Grammy-award winning Mali blues guitarist Ali Farka Touré, who died in 2006. To his father’s pioneering desert blues sound, Vieux added contemporary influences – ranging from rock’n’roll to dub – whilst staying true to his Malian roots.

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.Vieux was initially a drummer / calabash player at Mali’s Institut National des Arts, but secretly 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 debut CD, 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.

On Vieux’s self-titled debut album, released by World Village in 2007, he paid homage to his father and follows Ali’s musical tradition, giving new versions of the West African music that is echoed in the American blues. He also channeled his father’s activist spirit, donating part of the album’s proceeds towards programs for eradicating malaria.

On his second record, Fondo (2009), Vieux branched out and presented his own sound: using elements of rock, Latin music, and other African influences. The album received a great deal of critical acclaim from across the globe, and Vieux was clearly moving out of his father’s shadow. In 2013, his beautiful and critically acclaimed latest solo album Mon Pays was released as an homage to his homeland.  His native Mali recently splintered by territorial fighting between Tuareg and Islamic rebels, Mon Pays was devoted to reminding the world about the beauty and culture of his homeland.

Vieux has since toured around the world, and collaborated with some of music’s biggest names. This will be his first time in China.

CONTEMPORALE Presents: Vieux Farka Touré


Date: January 13, 2017 Friday

Time: 19:45pm*

*Performance will start promptly at 7:45pm. Please arrive 45 minutes prior to show time.

Price: 180/120/80 RMB

Tickets: http://www.shsymphony.com/item-index-id-596.html

Location: Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Hall

Address: 1380 Middle Fuxing Road, Xuhui District, near Baoqing Road (徐汇区复兴中路1380号,近宝庆路)


Shanghai Symphony Orchestra official website:www.sh-symphony.com

Split Works official website:www.spli-t.com

About Contemporale

The Contemporale series began in the autumn of 2014 as a collaboration between the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Split Works and hosts exciting contemporary musical acts in a classical music environment, at the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra’s new home in downtown Shanghai.

The 2014-15 season saw piano, guitar and strings from the Ukraine (Lubomyr Melnyk), Canada (Moonface) and the US (Bill Callahan).  With fully sold out Chamber Halls across the season, Contemporale has expanded its programme for the 2015-16 season, taking in twice the number of artists and including performances in the 1,200 seat Concert Hall.

About Split Works:

Split Works is a Beijing and Shanghai based concert promotion agency. Since 2006, we’ve been putting on killer parties and shows throughout Asia, working with brilliant artists from across the globe.  In 2009, we launched JUE | Music + Art and also produce branded campaigns through our sister company, communications agency Splatter. We love China, we love music, we love you.

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