Niafunké is a town in north central Mali and home town of musician/farmer Ali Farka Touré, who moved there as an infant and went on to become the town’s mayor in 2004 after Mr Ousmane Sall the first mayor of Niafunke.

Niafunké is also the name of an album recorded by Ali Farka Touré in 1999.

I was fortunate to stay in the hotel owned by Ali Farka Touré on my trip up the Niger in 2005…alas he was away!


Sona Jobarteh – Kora virtuoso from Gambia

Sona Jobarteh is the first female Kora virtuoso from the prestigious West African Jobarteh Griot family, coming from a long line of hereditary musicians. She is also a singer, producer, film composer and multi-instrumentalist. She is the granddaughter of the master Griot Amadu Bansang Jobarteh and cousin to the celebrated Kora maestro Toumani Diabaté.

I was fortunate to meet Sona at her lunch show at the Albert Hall on 4 November 2011.

She has recently completed her new, eagerly awaited album “Fasiya”.

Web site: