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Boubacar Traoré

Popularly and affectionately known as Kar Kar, Boubacar Traoré is Mali's legendary blues guitarist. He has been in and out of the musical limelight a number of times in the last 40 years. His nickname came about because when he played soccer people called out 'Kari, Kari' meaning 'dribble, dribble'.
Kar Kar grew up in the 1940s in Kayes, part of the Bambara region of Mali. His musical influences at that time were kassonke, a local traditional style, and American blues. Also his brother went to Cuba to study music and on his return he helped Boubacar learn guitar. His style of guitar playing can actually be compared to the kora.
At the time of Mali's independence in the 1960s, Kar Kar's music was always on the radio first thing in the morning so he became a national figure. His greatest hits were 'Kar Kar Madison', 'Mali Twist' and 'Kayes Ba'. His compositions have great depth of feeling and cannot even be explained. As well as playing music, Kar Kar had some small businesses such as farming and tailoring to support his family. He stayed away from the active music scene for a number of years then in 1987 made a comeback when he performed on TV in Mali, much to the delight of his fans.
Tragedy came his way about 2 years later when his wife Pierette died. Wanting to start anew away from Mali, he decided to move to France and worked in the construction industry but he still played music in the
evenings. A keen music producer found Boubacar in Paris and gave him the opportunity to record an album.
His albums are Sa Galo (1996), Macire