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From the Sahara to the Emerald City – Vieux brings the hypnotic rhythms of his recent album Les Racines to the Utzon Room for a mesmerising Sydney Opera House debut.

A proud musician-ambassador returning to his roots

Fans of Vieux Farka Touré, “the Hendrix of the Sahara”, have been eagerly waiting for him to return since his previous Australian tour in 2017. The pandemic might have kept him at home in Mali, but he’s been busy recording. Vieux collaborated with Texan trio Khruangbin for the 2022 full-length album Ali, named in tribute to his late father. And for his Sydney Opera House debut, Vieux’s trio will introduce songs from his recent album, Les Racines.

Les Racines saw Vieux literally returning to his roots and the Desert Blues style inherited from his father, who famously bridged the traditions of West African song and Afro-American blues guitar. At the same time, Vieux has developed his own take on the virtuoso guitar style, in which the right hand plays both bass and melody while setting up a hypnotic call-and-response between guitar and laidback vocals.

Vieux’s transcendent music-making speaks of ancient culture and contemporary spirit. It’s haunting and introspective and yet it dances with joy. It’s impossible to listen to his beguiling, rhythmically intricate grooves and not be completely lost in his world, where music is central to existence.


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