A beacon of cross-cultural dialogue, Mali’s Festival au Désert has become a worldwide call for peace in response to the recent turmoil that has stymied musical expression as it gripped the African region. Ali Farka Touré’s trusted sideman Mamadou Kelly, recently forced to flee his hometown due to war, captures the genius of Mali’s fluid guitar style, matching it with gritty vocals.
A close-knit circle of Touareg musicians reveals the full range of the nomadic Saharan desert blues, shifting from Tartit’s looping traditional melodies to Imharhan’s increasingly dynamic, electric songs.
Aziz Sahmaoui, a founder of Orchestre National de Barbès and member of Joe Zawinul’s Syndicate, is a veteran of fusing North African traditions and cosmopolitan jazz. His University of Gnawa reshapes influences from West African migrants to the Maghreb into exuberant trance music.
Festival au Désert – Caravan for Peace
Mamadou Kelly (New York debut)
Imharhan (New York debut) / Tartit
Aziz Sahmaoui & University of Gnawa (New York debut)
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