Vieux Farka Touré is often called “The Hendrix of the Sahara.” Despite his father Ali Farka Touré's wishes that he join the army, Vieux taught himself guitar in secret and stubbornly chose to pursue his dream of a career in music and further his father's legacy. After earning his undergraduate degree from Mali's Institute National Des Arts and a graduate degree from The Conservatory of Bamako, Vieux quickly emerged from his father's shadow and established himself as an innovative, world-class musician and activist in his own right. In his young career he has released seven critically acclaimed albums, toured the world many times over and collaborated with some of the world's biggest musical stars, including Dave Matthews, Lauryn Hill, Derek Trucks and Ry Cooder. In 2010 he was invited to represent Mali at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in South Africa, where he performed to a cumulative global audience of over one billion people. In 2013 he released his latest solo album, Mon Pays, as a direct, peaceful and uplifting response to the violent invasion of his homeland by foreign, extremist militants in 2012 and 2013. The album was roundly praised around the world and topped the CMJ World Music Chart for 2013. A tenacious philanthropist throughout his career, Vieux has worked diligently to assist his fellow Malians through his Fight Malaria campaign and by raising money throughout his tours for the refugees of the recent conflict in Northern Mali. Most recently he founded AMAHREC-SAHEL, a charitable organization providing crucial resources and assistance to impoverished children in the Sahel region of West Africa.
Since 2003, when his song “Bo’ee” became an instant crossover hit that catapulted Idan Raichel and his group The Idan Raichel Project to the top of Israel's pop charts, the keyboardist, songwriter and producer has been a household name in his native land. In 2006, the U.S.-based record label Cumbancha released an eponymous collection of songs from the group’s first two albums, bringing the artist even more international renown. The Idan Raichel Project has headlined some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including New York's Central Park Summer Stage, Apollo Theater, Town Hall and Radio City Music Hall, Los Angeles’ Kodak Theater, the Sydney Opera House, Zenith and Bataclan in Paris, London’s Royal Albert Hall and many international festivals. Raichel has toured and recorded with GRAMMY-winner India.Arie, including performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. for President Obama and his family on the first Martin Luther King, Jr. Day after Obama’s election as well as at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway. Last year, Raichel perform a private concert for President Obama during his official visit to Israel. In July 2014, Raichel joined Alicia Keys for a special duet during her sold-out concert at Nokia Stadium in Tel Aviv. Cumbancha released the Idan Raichel Project's latest album, Quarter to Six, in 2013, which featured guest appearances by Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura, Palestinian-Israeli singer Mira Awad, German counter-tenor Andreas Scholl, Colombia’s Marta Gómez, Vieux Farka Touré and some of Israel’s top emerging singers and musicians.