The 13th annual World Music Festival Chicago presents Sidi Touré (Mali) performing at the Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusements Festival.
Sidi Touré made his first guitar as a child, constructing it from his wooden writing slate in the ancient town of Gao, Mali. In 1976, Touré became the youngest member of Gao’s regional orchestra, the Songhaï Stars, who played bi-annual festivals like the Bamako Biennale and toured both regionally and nationally. Early on, etiquette and convention demanded that he sang in Bambara, the regional language, which often found Touré singing lyrics in a vernacular he did not understand. This changed in 1984, when he won the award for best singer for “Manou Tchirey,” a song of his own, written in the Songhaï language.