Boubacar Traoré 'Kar Kar'

Boubacar Traoré was a celebrity in Mali already in the 1960s, when he played for the Malian radio his hits like « Mali Twist » and « Kayeba ». Since he only played his music for the radio, he could not make a living from his music, and for 15 years he disappeared from the music scene, working as a tradesman and as a tailor. In 1987, he resurfaced with his music at the national television. After the death of his beloved wife Pierrette, he left for France, to work and forget.
He continued to play occasionally and after a record producer found out about his former successes, Boubacar was asked to record two albums that were licensed to Stern's Records. His music is characterised by his melancholic voice and bluesy guitar playing, based on circular Khassonke rhythms.
His music was increasingly loved and he recorded new albums, for instance with Habib Koité's band on the album « Maciré » (1999).

The Belgian novelist Lieve Joris wrote about Boubacar's life in « Mali Blues » in 1996, the movie « Je chanterai pour toi » by Jacques Sarasin was based on this novel. A CD accompanying the movie revisits the music of Boubacar, with the help of Ali Farka Touré, Rokia Traoré, Sidiki Camara (calabash), Adama Coulibaly (percussion), Mamah Diabaté (ngoni), Andra Kouyaté (ngoni), Adama Diarra (balafon), Kélétigui Diabaté, Ballaké Sissoko (kora) and Madieye Niang (calabash).

In 2005 he records « Kongo Magni » with a variety of guest musicians such as Vincent Bucher (harmonica) and Régis Gizavo (accordion), followed by « Mali Denhou » in 2011, with Vincent Bucher (harmonica) and Madieye Niang (calabash).

Kar Kar
   Boubacar Traoré 'Kar Kar'   
Born: 1942, in Kayes
Style: Mali blues

Title Year Label Remarks
Dounia Tabolo 2017 Lusafrica
Mbalimaou 2015 Lusafrica
Mali Denhou 2011 Lusafrica
Classics Titles 2006 Cantos Compilation
Kongo Magni 2005 Marabi Productions 46809-2
The Best of... (The Bluesman from Mali) 2003 Wrasse Records WRASS 082
Je chanterai pour toi 2002 Marabi Productions 46803-2 OST of the movie, new recordings of old songs
Maciré 1999 Indigo LBLC 2564
Sécheresse 199? Sonoafrica CDS 7050 Compilation of 'Mariama' and 'Kar Kar'
Sa Golo 1996 Indigo LBLC 2534 With Baba Dramé on calebash
Les enfants de Pierrette 199? Mali K7 KAR001 Cassette
Kar Kar 1992 Stern's STCD 1037
Mariama 1990 Stern's STCD 1032 Recorded by Radio Mali in 1989


Page added February 1998