Tartit with Imharhan, Mamadou Kelly

Tartit with Imharhan

Legends of Tuareg music, Tartit step straight out of the Sahara. With their traditional Instrumentation and repertoire, their music seems deceptively simple, but speaks directly to the issues of today seeking to preserve a culture under attack. Nothing is more evocative of the fascinating expanses of the Sahara desert than the music of Tartit. The band consists of five women and four men who, until the rebellion of 2012, lived in the Timbuktu region of Mali. Tartit begins by playing quiet, hypnotic, trance-inducing music: the women sit down, sing, and play cyclic rhythms on their tinde drums, while the men accompany them on string instruments, acoustic and electric.

The men are veiled here, the women are not. Tuareg society is one of the few throughout Africa in which women are allowed to choose (and divorce) their husbands. Nomads by tradition, the pressures of politics, modernization and climate change threaten the very existence of their world. One of the original groups to perform on the stage of the legendary Festival au Desert in Mali, Tartit were one of the last to perform as the 2012 edition ended two days before chaos descended into their desert. Now refugees in neighboring Burkina Faso the group is a beacon to the Tuareg people around the world.

Tartit’s music has reached out and embraced the 21st century. During their program electric instruments begin to appear in the mix; slowly the force grows of celebration and joy. The group morphs into the phenomenal configuration that they call Imharhan. This sound profile harks to the many experiments and collaborations with which the group members have been involved, moving their Tuareg desert blues to fresh coordinates.

With their own Wikipedia page and many youtube videos, Tartit has become known worldwide. They have released two ablums and are planning a 2013 release. The iconic group is led by Fadimata Walet Oumar, known as Disco. The whole family joins in to the music. It is her brother, Mohamed Issa, who leads when Imharhan emerge into the swirling rhythms. Popular at celebrations throughout the Tuareg world, Tartit along with Imharhan now represent their culture in crisis.

Tartit have toured Europe and America on their own and as part of Desert Blues alongside Afel Bocoum & Habib Koite. They performed most recently at Festival Taragalte in M’Hamid Morocco at the close of 2012. Their performances demonstrate the enduring strength of indigenous cultures around the world.

Mamadou Kelly

From Niafunke, the heart of the Malian delta blues, guitar genius and subtle vocal stylist, Mamadou Kelly has been an integral part of two of the most famous groups in Malian music, Afel Bocoum’s Alkibar and also Ali Farka Toure’s backup band. He has played guitar and performed with these two greats on many of their tours and albums. He is the solid glue that holds the music together. Nothing short of a virtuoso on the acoustic guitar, Mamadou has an encyclopedic knowledge of the music of Mali. He represents a new sophistication in the sound of Niafunke.

Forced to flee Niafunke for Bamako after the occupation of northern Mali in 2012 and the imposition of sharia that banned music in his home town, Mamadou continues to develop his career. Having toured extensively as a side-man, he is now ready to step into the center spotlight and present his own music to the world. Supported by his brother, Hama, a respected genius on the calabash who is also heard on many recordings from Mali, and their longtime collaborator, monochord master Youro, their music represents the best and most captivating combination of traditional and contemporary West Africa imaginable. His vocals display a smooth sophistication demonstrating the high level of his art.

Mamadou can be heard on many recordings from Mali and appears in many videos. He continues to record in the studio and is putting together a new solo album for a 2013 release. His charm belies a determined professional. His song style is direct, deceptively simple and yet highly sophisticated. A rich historical background supports the composition and delivery. Without skipping a beat, Mamadou is able to bring a gracious hospitality to his music and to the concert stage.

In two of the videos below, Mamadou Kelly can be seen in the group backing Afel Bocoum. Do not let the size of the crowd in front of the festival stage fool you. It is early afternoon in rural Holland. The other video is a tribute by Alkibar to Ali Farka Toure.

Kiran Ahluwalia

Expressing her muse through ghazals and Punjabi folk songs, Award winning, Indian singer, Kiran Ahluwalia explores the language of the heart with beautiful artistry and smoldering intensity. Her enchanting and seductive music has garnered glowing praise from critics around the world; "Her's is "a voice destined to enchant more than one generation" (fROOTS). But most of all, Kiran Ahluwalia is a unique and inspiring performer and composer, who's legion of fans continues to grow with every captivating performance.

With each successive recording, Kiran has moved ever onward from her own musical upbringing, reaching well beyond her extensive training in the genres of traditional ghazal and Punjabi folk music and shaping a style completely her own. On her latest CD, Aam Zameen - Common Ground Kiran successfully merges her contemporary Indian song with Saharan desert blues.

On stage, Kiran is accompanied by a stellar group of musicians: cutting edge NYC guitarist, Rez Abbasi, rising tabla star, Nitin Mitta, hard grooving bassist, Nikku Nayar and superbly melodic harmonium player, Kiran Thakrar. Together, they are one of North America's most exciting and creative world music groups.

"Her crystal clear voice arched superbly above rhythms that coursed through the audience...an evening of fascinating, newly revealed music." - Los Angeles Times

"A rising international star."—Village Voice

"Her soaring and unforgettably haunting vocals reveal her to be one of today's most popular exponents of the fine art of creating hybrid musical styles that become almost signature in the ear of the beholder." Calgary Herald

"Her desire to explore and celebrate will solidify her as one of the true innovators in world music." Scene in the Dark

"A powerful woman who has a depth of character in her wonderfully pliable, expressive voice."—The Observer

$15.00 - $18.00


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