Tinariwen is a band created in the early 80s by Tuareg musicians from northern Mali’s Kidal region. Their music, often designed as “Blues from the desert,” is a deep expression of the suffering of the Tuareg people and their life in the Saharan desert. Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, the band leader, was a rebel years ago, but he now preaches peace trough music. Since the end of the 90s the band has been performing all over the world, bringing a unique sound to the audience and representing the culture of the Tuareg people. Over the years, Tinariwen has shared the stage with artists such as Carlos Santana, Robert Plant or Herbie Hancock.
How we met:
Our first encounter with Tinariwen was during the Glastonbury festival, in 2009. The Omagh Community Youth Choir and Tinariwen were both joining the PFC Band as special guests, and we were waiting for Tinariwen so we could rehearse their song Imidiwan Afrik Tendam. Tinariwen’s members showed up in beautiful traditional blue outfits, with turbans covering their faces and their guitars on the shoulder. Despite the continuous English rain that was falling, we were all transported to the Saharan desert.