With a career spanning over 35 years, Salif Keita is regarded as one of World Music's most influential artists and has recorded numerous albums with some the finest international musicians in jazz, rock and pop including the likes of Carlos Santana, Vernon Reid, Youssou N'Dour and Ray Lema. But his story begins as one of exile, which was recently documented in front page story printed in the Wall Street Journal. Born as an Albino (considered a sign of bad luck), he was disowned by his own father and shunned by the community. As a musician, he was rejected by the aristocracy of his cast which drove him to leave the country in hopes of pursuing his musical ambitions.
Through the years he has overcome adversity and encouraged immigrants like him to return to their homeland to promote and protect local artists. His homecoming has been seen as symbolic, and something of a triumph. The 2002 release of Moffou was the product of his desire to return to his African roots. The entirely acoustic album was one of great power and authenticity which garnered raves by the press. The New York Times stated "his latest synthesis (Moffou) was so light-fingered and ingenious that ambition was swallowed in grace and sheer delight." Both Blender and Rolling Stone gave Moffou 3 stars while Keita's voice was described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as "rich."