The lead guitarist for the Rail Band from 1971 to 1979 and 1984 on, Djali Madi Tounkara played an important role in the evolution of West African music. Known for his unique guitar tunings, Tounkara has continued to influence the music of his homeland. Tounkara's attempts to attract global attention, however, have left him frustrated. Scheduled to participate in the recording sessions that produced the award-winning album Buena Vista Social Club, he was kept from the sessions when his passport arrived late. After performing with L'Orchestre National 'A' De La Republique Du Mali in the late-'60s, Tounkara joined the Rail Band in 1971. He remained essential to the band's sound until 1979 when he, along with guitarist/vocalist Mory Konte, left to form their own band, L'Orchestre Super Rail Band International. The group recorded one album, Affair Social, in 1980.