In an era of so much synthetic, electronic, digital fakery in music, there’s something wonderfully honest and elemental about the sound of Tinariwen.
Originating from northern Mali, Tinariwen consists of African nomads who sing in Tamashek, the tongue of the Tuareg people of the Sahara. Before becoming an international rock sensation, some of them received military training in Libya, fought in Milian revolts, and one was even kidnapped by a militant Islamic group (he has since been released.)
It’s an unlikely path to stardom, but the music is so powerful, they’ve now received international acclaim. Robert Plant, Carlos Santana, U2 and Flea are all fans. Rolling Stone named their latest release, Emmaar, one of the 50 Best Albums of 2014.
On August 15, 2015, you can see them live at SFJAZZ! The band will play as part of the “Sounds of Africa” series, which runs August 13 to the 16th.
Tickets are available at sfjazz.org