The Touré-Raichel Collective brings two international music icons to Quick Center


Malian guitar virtuoso Vieux Farka Touré and Israeli keyboard star Idan Raichel share collaborations and improvisations on November 20

Idan RaichelThe formation and success of The Touré-Raichel Collective is a reminder of the unique power of music to bridge geographic, ethnic, political and religious differences. This acclaimed world music ensemble, led by Israeli keyboardist and songwriterIdan Raicheland Malian guitaristVieux Farka Touré –icons in their own countries and abroad – performs at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20, at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.Corporate sponsor for this event is Sheaffer. Media sponsors are VENÜ Magazineand WPKN (89.5) FM. Tickets are$40, $35, and $30; Fairfield University students, $5.

Although collaboration between an Israeli Jew and a Malian Muslim has unavoidable political implications, what inspired Touré and Raichel to work together was not the potential to make a statement; they simply connected as artists and friends seeking to find musical common ground. They met for the first time by chance, in 2008 at a Berlin airport, where they expressed mutual admiration and a desire to get together and play. Touré's father, the late Ali Farka Touré, was one of Raichel's musical heroes and inspirations. Raichel invited Touré to Israel, where they assembled a few musicians and convened an unscripted, improvised jam session. The chemistry between Touré and Raichel was instant and profound. They assumed the name The Touré-Raichel Collective and used the material from that first gathering as the basis for an album, The Tel Aviv Session, which found poignant, musically beautiful common ground between the artists' cultures. Due to popular demand, The Touré-Raichel Collective has undertaken multiple international tours and performed on some of the world's most prestigious stages. The group's new album, The Paris Session, was released last month.

"These players delve into the swirling waters of our globalized music culture and pull out bright fish, almost perfect, as if designed instead of conjured in the heat of improvisation," said National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." Relix magazine noted: "The melding of Touré's rich African grooves and Raichel's delicate piano is as close to perfection as one could imagine."

Vieux Farka Touré is often called "The Hendrix of the Sahara." 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. A tenacious philanthropist throughout his career, Touré 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.

Idan Raichel has become a familiar name in Israeli contemporary music since his song"Bo'ee" landed The Idan Raichel Projectonto the top of Israel's pop charts, becoming an instant crossover hit. The keyboardist, songwriter and producer has toured and recorded with 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 observance after Obama's election. The two also performed at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway, and at the dedication ceremony for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.  Last year, Raichel performed in a private concert for President Obama during his official visit to Israel.

Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office at (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396 (1-877-278-7396) or online at www.quickcenter.com.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit www.quickcenter.com

Fairfield University offers its students and the regional community a wide array of opportunities to enjoy the arts and enrich their lives through study, performance, appreciation, and thought. The annual Arts & Minds season of events at Fairfield provides an outstanding lineup of cultural and intellectual events that include the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts season, the popular Open VISIONS Forum lecture series, professional and student performances, art exhibits, special lectures, and a myriad of other lifelong learning opportunities. For more information, visit www.fairfield.edu/arts.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 30, 2014

Vol. 47, No. 102

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