Artist of the Day: Boubacar Traore

posted by Matt Jarrells on 01/23/2018

January 23, 2018

African blues musician Boubacar Traore recently released his 11th album titled Dounia Tabolo.

Traore calls himself the “lively link” between Mali and the Mississippi and this record infuses his worldly sound with deep southern influences. He teamed up with American musicians Cedric Watson, Leyla McCalla, and Corey Harris to bring blues, folk, Cajun, and Zydeco into the mix.

Traore, also known by his nickname Kar Kar, is a self-taught guitarist. In Mali he is a well-respected musician, recognized as a founder of modern Mandinka music.

Though prolific now, Traore’s career has not always been this way. The Mali native emerged in the 1960s during the height of African independence, but when his country’s government was overthrown in 1968, his popularity declined, his music was taken off of the air, and he turned to farming to make a living. He later moved to Paris to join a group of Malian migrant workers. There he was re-discovered by a British music producer. His comeback album Mariama debuted in 1990.

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