BENNINGTON — Daby Toure, a singer and songwriter with a global perspective, and his trio take the stage of the Masonic Hall on Saturday, as the 15th season of the Vermont Arts Exchange's Basement Music Series continues. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8.
"From the first time you hear it, prepare to hum along, tap your toes, and be mesmerized by Daby's infectious brand of global soul-tinged pop," the BBC said in a review of his 2007 album Stereo Spirit.
Toure brings a storyteller's voice who never fails to astound audiences with his ethereal voice, masterful guitar work and catchy original songs. His singular vision reveals a complex yet approachable sound, one that defies expectations and stereotypes of what it means to be an African artist today. He illuminates the darkest of concert halls with his joyful performances and infectious love of music.
A marvelous lyricist, composer of accessible melodic hooks, endearing performer and virtuoso guitarist, Toure reaches deeply into the hearts of listeners with his approachable and unique style of music. A musical and linguistic polyglot, Tour creates an elegant sonic mixture that merges the linguistic inflections of the six languages he speaks. His music is a puzzle whose pieces, once assembled, form a comprehensive map of the world. It builds bridges between cultures, crossing borders and gives life to a poetic language and a universal sound.
Says Songlines, "Everyone's favorite Paris-based Mauritanian singer-songwriter is back. With his wide-ranging voice, virtuosic guitar work, and knack for songwriting, Daby is a force to be reckoned with."
Toure spent his childhood in Mauritania, a country in western Africa. As a boy in Mauritania, he was an avid listener to the radio and was influenced by The Police, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. He taught himself the basics of guitar and from an early age felt instinctively that his destiny was to become a musician.
He moved to Paris when he was a teenager. His passion for music gradually drew him from his business studies and he started playing in the Parisian music scene. He founded the duo Toure-Toure with his cousin Omar, and released a well-received album Ladde in 2000 that led to touring across Europe and the United States.
After many years of solo experimentation, playing and recording Toure met with electro musician and producer Cyrille Dufay in 2003. This meeting was to prove pivotal and led to the making of Toure's first solo album Diam, which convinced Peter Gabriel to sign him to his British record label Real World Records in 2004. Before long, Toure was opening for Peter Gabriel on his "Growing Up" world tour.
"I was born in Africa," Toure said. "And all the traditional music I picked up when I was young is still in me and that doesn't change. But in my music I am still searching, and mixing, and trying things and that's what I am doing now. I have travelled far from the 'traditional' or 'folkloric' music of my country."
Opening for Toure will be a short performance by Spero, a multi-instrumentalist and songstress with a fondness for loops and anything funky. Her ethereal grooves, soulful voice and dark lyrics float over an original twist on finger-style guitar. Her original compositions are luscious blends of her journeys through jazz, folk and world rhythms, particularly those of Senegal, West Africa.
Follow the season at vtartxchange.org, on the new Basement Music Series Facebook page and on Twitter (twitter.com/BMSatVAE). For more information about Vermont Arts Exchange, the Basement Music Series, exhibits and camps, contact VAE at 802-442-5549 or visit vtartxchange.org.
If you go ...
What: Daby Toure and his trio
When: Saturday; doors open at 7 p.m.
Where: The Masonic Hall, 504 Main St., Bennington
Food and drink: Garam garam will be providing homemade food to purchase; Thyme Tables Catering of Shaftsbury will provide a cash bar
Cost: $18 in advance through www.vtartxchange.org or by calling 800-838-3006. If not sold out, tickets are $22 at the door. Student tickets $10
Information: Contact Vermont Arts Exchange at 802-442-5549 or visit vtartxchange.org