06/05 | Songhoy Blues (Mali) & DJ WARP at Thalia Hall


Hailing from the heart of Gao, on the banks of the Niger River, Oumar Toure and Aliou Toure grew up obsessed with hip hop, R&B, and classic rock like The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. They found a kindred spirit and musical brother in guitarist Garba Toure (son of Oumar Toure, long term percussionist in Ali Farka Toure’s band). When growing unrest in the north of Mali forced the young men and their families to take refuge in the southern town of Bamako, they decided to turn crisis into opportunity by forming a band. They enlisted drummer Nathanial “Nat” Dembele and baptized their band Songhoy Blues in celebration of their displaced people and culture.
All those old ‘world music’ prejudices have no place here. Songhoy Blues are four talented, hungry, sharp and outward-looking young men from a part of the world that has had more than it’s share and pain and conflict in recent years. But it has given far more than its share of music and joy to the world in return over the past four decades. That place may seem strange, alien and ‘exotic’ to some but deep down, Songhoy Blues are a familiar proposition: four young men, guitar, drums, bass and vocals, driving rhythms, big hearts and a story to tell.

Thalia Hall, 1807 South Allport Street, Chicago

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