|September 21, 2013|
|October 3, 2013|
|October 23, 2013|
|November 27, 2013|
Mamadou Kelly and Leila Gobi.
Cedric Watson and Sidi Toure.
The Consortium presents The Sahara Series: five concerts featuring major musicians from the African countries of Mali and Niger, all at Thunderbird Cafe, 4023 Butler St. in Lawrenceville. All shows are $12 advance/$15 door, 21+, and advance tickets can be purchased at Sound Cat Records (Bloomfield), Caliban Books (Oakland), Acoustic Music Works (Squirrel Hill) and Dave’s Music Mine (South Side), or online at the Thunderbird’s website at http://www.thunderbirdcafe.net.
These are performers who would normally be featured at the respect Festival of the Desert, held for a decade in northern Mali. However, that festival is now “in exile” due to the circumstances following the 2012 Tuareg rebellion which briefly proclaimed the independent nation of Azawad. In the aftermath, hardcore Islamist Ansar Al-Dine took over the region (supported by Al Qaida in the Maghreb) and attempted to impose sharia law, destroying Sufi shrines and priceless libraries in Timbuktu while banning music, alcohol and dancing, and oppressing women in the region. The French army came in and drove out the Islamists, and the region is now being patrolled by a U.N. force of African nations, but the danger remains.
Monday September 16 8 pm ‘Caravan of Peace’
MAMADOU KELLY – rising African blues guitarist from Niafunke, Mali and former member of Ali Farka Toure’s All-Stars.
LEILA GOBI – Tuareg singer from Menaka, Mali who also plays guitar, djembe, balafon and tinde, singing in several languages including her native Tamashek.
with special guests Batamba
Saturday September 21 7 pm ‘International Blues Express’
SIDI TOURE – Songhai guitarist of noble linage from Gao, Mali who blends Western folk and blues with trancelike African complexity. Three albums out on respected American indie label Thrill Jockey (Tortoise, Califone, Mouse on Mars, Rob Mazurek).
CEDRIC WATSON – Cajun and Creole fiddler and accordionist from Louisiana whose three albums as bandleader have all been nominated for Grammy Awards.
Thursday October 3 8 pm co-presented with Grey Area Productions and VIA Fest
TAL NATIONAL – drawing on regional styles from highlife and soukous to Afrobeat and desert blues, they create original African rock, and have become the most popular band in their landlocked country of Niger, where they live in the capital Niamey. Their new album is out on UK indie label Fat Cat (Sigur Ros, Mum, No Age, Animal Collective, Frightened Rabbit, etc).
(note: ticket outlets for this event are Culture Shop and Dave’s [both South Side], Sound Cat, and 720 Records [Lawrenceville])
Wednesday October 23 8 pm Next Generation of Tuareg Bluesmen
TERAKAFT – From northern Mali, their name means “caravan” in Tamashek. Leader
Diara was a founding member of desert-blues legends Tinariwen. Currently living in exile in Algeria, they represent the next generation of Tuareg bluesmen, including Diara’s nephews Sanou and Abdallah, and perform in their characteristic dress: blue robes and the tagelmust turban. Their albums have been released on World Village (which is part of Harmonia Mundi, and also released Tinariwen).
with special guests Landmark Tongues (members of Centipede E’est and Gangwish)
Wednesday November 27 8 pm Desert Guitar Hero
BOMBINO – Originally from Agadez, Niger, Omara “Bombino” Moctar spent his youth in Algeria and Libya due to the Tuareg-led rebellions in the Sahara. Returning to his hometown, he has since recorded albums for Sublime Frequencies and Cumbancha, and now his third album, Nomad, is out on prominent New Music label Nonesuch Records (Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, George Crumb, but the list of classical, pop and world icons is very long), produced by Grammy-winning Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. The album debuted at #1 on the World Music charts, cementing his reputation as trailblazing desert guitar hero.
with special guests Batamba