International Blues Express: Cedric Watson and Sidi Toure

From Africa to the Delta and back again, the blues as intercontinental dialog and eternally renewing resource.

From Africa to Creole Louisiana and back again, the blues on an transcontinental journey within the francophone African diaspora

Together Cedric Watson & Sidi Touré find common ground in the blues while exploring distinct music traditions from far flung corners of the francophone African world. Using fiddle, guitar, frottoir (rub board), triangle and ngoni (the four-stringed African lute and ancestor of the banjo) this intercontinential quartet features two musicians from Africa and two from Louisiana. A chance meeting at the Vancouver Music Folk Music Festival in 2012 introduced these gifted musicians from distinct African and African-American francophone cultures. Their mutual admiration and common love of music has inspirited a transatlantic collaboration that, after months of picking up steam, has now left the station. Welcome aboard The International Blues Express!

Cedric Watson’s unique take on traditional Creole music from Louisiana expands the genre while still respecting its roots. Three of his albums have been nominated for Grammy Awards. Showing mastery of both fiddle and accordion, with strong blues-inflected vocals, Cedric’s creative and joyful style make him an exciting and charismatic performer.

While the music and rhythms remain authentically Songhai, Sidi Touré’s lyrics reveal an observant and critical mind. His songs draw attention to issues not usually addressed by singers from such ancient traditions. Sidi’s music is modern, bending tradition not unlike Tinariwen and his guitar playing and scales cross into western folk and blues not unlike Ali Farke Touré (who is also Songhai). Sidi is a captivating performer who’s skills and songs shine in any context.

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