NEPA Scene Staff

African guitar masters Bombino and Vieux Farka Toure play at Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Oct. 17

African guitar masters Bombino and Vieux Farka Toure play at Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Oct. 17
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From a press release:

In a unique collaboration between two of Africa’s more esteemed and dynamic guitar masters, Bombino from Niger and Vieux Farka Toure from Mali, perform separate sets and together, bringing an intimate musical journey from the original birthplace of the blues – the Sahara Desert – to the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now and available at the Sundance Vacations Box Office at the Kirby Center (71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre), online at, and by phone at 570-826-1100. All seats are just $10, plus applicable fees, thanks to underwriting from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Omara “Bombino” Moctar, whose given name is Goumour Almoctar, is a member of the Ifoghas tribe, which belongs to the Kel Adagh Tuareg federation. The Tuareg, known among themselves as the Kel Tamasheq, have long been recognized as warriors, traders, and travelers of the Sahara Desert, as a people of grace and nobility as well as fighters of fierce reputation. They are a nomadic people descended from the Berbers of North Africa and for centuries have fought against colonialism and the imposition of strict Islamic rule.

He is known as being emblematic of the next generation of Tuareg, a new voice of the Sahara and Sahel, fusing traditional Berber rhythms with the energy of rock and roll and songs about peace.

Bombino’s newest album, “Deran,” was released on May 18, 2018 and quickly hit No. 1 on the iTunes World charts, hailed by critics around the world as an instant classic. In the wake of its release, Bombino was featured in the New York Times, which dubbed him “the Sultan of Shred” while Noisey named him “the world’s greatest guitarist.”

“Deran” was nominated for a Grammy for Best World Music Album at the 2019 Grammy Awards, making Bombino the first-ever artist from Niger to be nominated for a Grammy.

Vieux Farka Touré has clearly established himself as one of the world’s rare musical talents and guitar virtuosos with a distinct style that always pays homage to the past while looking towards the future.

Often referred to as “the Hendrix of the Sahara,” Touré was born in Niafunké, Mali. He is the son of legendary Malian guitar player Ali Farka Touré, who died in 2006. Ali Farka Touré came from a historical tribe of soldiers and defied his parents in becoming a musician.

Vieux Farka Touré’s third studio album, 2011’s “The Secret,” is so named because the listener will hear the secret of the blues with a blend of generations from father to son. It was produced by guitarist Eric Krasno (of the Soulive trio) and features South African-born vocalist Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks on electric slide guitar, and jazz guitarist John Scofield. The title track is the last collaboration between Vieux and his late father.

Touré’s latest album, “Samba,” was recorded in front of a live audience in Woodstock, New York and released in the spring of 2017.