BOUBACAR TRAORÉ - photos: Carly Viator / Lusafrica

Boubacar Traoré (Mali)

The greatest living legend of African blues


Seventy-six years old guitarist and singer Boubacar Traoré is considered to be African Robert Johnson.  On his new album, “Dounia Tabolo”, Boubacar Traoré has decided to bring in musicians from the Southern States of the USA he had met on tour: Cedric Watson on violin and washboard, and Corey Harris on guitar, together with Leyla McCalla on cello and vocals. His intention was to change the coloration of his songs, while conserving their original character.

His music is closely connected with Griot traditions of the Mandingo nation and the twenty-one string kora. That’s why his guitar sounds so unique.

On his concerts he combines chamber guitar sound, unique voice and his close relation with Mali musicians and a French harmonica player Vincent Boucher. They always remember to play Traoré’s most important piece Mariama, which is a story about a sad girl and a bird, which founds out that her mother is dying. But there is also another line: to remind danssa rhythm of his birthplace the town of Kayes on the border with Senegal and Kassonké nation. 

Photos: Carly Viator / Lusafrica.