By itself, a guitar is just six-strings and a wood box with a hole in it. But in the hands of a capable musician, the guitar has the power to connect worlds. Tonight UCLA Live presents Malian guitar wunderkind Vieux Farka Touré at Royce Hall with the amazing bluesman Taj Mahal for what is sure to be a fascinating conversation in music. The two guitar greats will unravel the mobius strip influence from Africa to America and back to Africa again. Taj Mahal's brand of blues derives its phrasing from African rhythms while Touré's playing redistills the American blues back through an African filter. Touré continues the tradition of great guitar players from Mali, including, of course, his late father Ali Farka Touré.

For an insight into Mali's great guitar players, we've assembled a few clips to bring the sound of West Africa to the West Coast.

Amadou Et Mariam


Ali Farka Touré

Here he talks about the connection between African music and blues.

Abdoulaye Diabate

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