VIEUX FARKA TOURE | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The sons of African music legends are coming to America: last week Nigeria's Seun Kuti, son of Fela, made his Chicago debut; tonight it's Mali's Vieux Farka Toure, son of the late Ali Farka Toure, who brought the bluesy guitar of Mande music to the west. Burned by unscrupulous promoters and record labels, Ali was vehemently against his son pursuing music, pushing him toward the military, which forced Vieux to practice in secret until finally receiving his father's blessing just before his death last year. On his eponymous debut for World Village, he covers more or less the same turf as his dad, laying hypnotic guitar licks over lyric ngoni, balafon, and kora played by guests including Toumani Diabate and Bassekou Kouyate. Vieux's got a strong presence and a low, captivating voice, so although he makes a few dubious detours into rock and reggae, he may just be worthy of his father's mantle. He opens for Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra, which will be joined by a Chicago horn section playing charts by trombonist Jeb Bishop. Vieux will also play the main stage of the Old Town School of Folk Music's Chicago Folk & Roots Festival on July 15 at 6:15 PM; see next week's Reader for details. a 6:30 PM, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 100 N. Michigan, 312-742-1168. F A --Peter Margasak

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