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- 1.In the early '60s, after Mali gained his independence from France, he was the country's voice, on the radio every day, with people singing his "Mali Twist." He was a star. Everyone knew him. But he made no recordings - and no money from his music. People called him Kar Kar, "a nickname I got from playing soccer when I was young. People would yell 'Kari, Kari' - dribble, dribble - the name stuck with me," and they still use the affectionate term for the man who grew up in Kayes, in the west of Mali. His songs might have woken up Mali every day, but there was also a living to be made. Boubacar Traore is a contented man. After a difficult life, the Malian singer, guitarist, and songwriter is happy again, the happiest he's been since the death of his beloved wife, Pierrette, 11 years ago. He flew to Paris and worked construction, sending money home for his children, now living with relatives. It was there his luck finally changed. Tracked down, he was brought to England, and recorded his first CD. Two years later he returned to Mali, settling in the capital, Bamako. Everyone was astonished to find Kar Kar back; he'd been silent for so long, they thought he was dead. These days he's more alive than he's been in a decade, playing "in Mali, concerts and on television, and all over Africa." His songs are played on the radio, and he's become an international name, not only for his own material, but also for his interpretations of traditional songs like "Soundiata." 2.Boubacar Traore (born 1942 in Kayes, Mali) is a renowned singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Traore nicknamed "Kar Kar" ("the one who dribbles too much" in Bambara, a reference to his soccer playing), first came to prominence in the early 1960s. He had taught himself to play guitar and developed a unique style that blended American Blues music, Arab music, and pentatonic structures found in West Africa's Mande cultural region. He was a superstar in Mali and a symbol of the newly independent country (see History of Mali). His songs were immensely popular and he enjoyed regular radio play. However, he made no recordings, and since there were no royalties paid to musicians, he was very poor and had to work odd jobs to make ends meet. During the 1970s Traore's popularity faded, until a surprise television appearance in 1987. Soon after this "rediscovery," Boubacar's wife died. Grief-stricken, he moved to France and did construction work to support his six children. While there, a British record producer discovered a tape of one of Traore's radio performances, and he was finally signed to a record deal. His first album, Mariama, was released in 1990. Since then, Traore has enjoyed international popularity, touring Europe, Africa, and North America. Boubacar Traore was the subject of the 2001 film Je chanterai pour toi ("I'll Sing For You"), released on DVD in 2005.
- Mariama (1990); Kar Kar (1992); Les Enfants de Pierrette (1995); Sa Golo (1996); Macire; (2000); Je chanterai pour toi (2003); The Best of Boubacar Traore;The Bluesman from Mali (2003)