Last Thursday, November 8, at George Washington’s Lisner Auditorium, a Festival in the Desert took place. And while it didn’t feature the sands of the Sahara, it did feature the sounds of that desert region in Northern Africa. The Festival in the Desert blew into town with two critically-acclaimed musicians from the musically rich country of Mali: Touareg guitar heroes Tinariwen, a band whose electrified incarnation of the music of the Sahara nomads have made them global cultural ambassadors of the Touareg people, and (seconding the bill was ) Vieux Farka Toure, the 26 year old guitar virtuoso and son of the godfather of Mali blues, Ali Farka Toure, easily one of the greatest African musicians who ever lived.
Africa Now caught up with Tinariwen and Vieux Farka Toure for exclusive interviews before their electrifying performances at Lisner Auditorium to talk about the worldwide popularity of Malian Music, the independence struggles of the Touareg peoples of the Sahara, and how a new generation of Malian musicians are building on the towering legacy of their predecessors.
Abdullah Ag Husseini, vocalist and guitarist of Tinariwen. Tinariwen’s latest record Aman Iman, available on Independiente
Vieux Farka Toure. Vieux’s latest record Vieux Farka Toure is available on Modiba Records.
HOST(S): Akenji Ndumu
SPECIAL THANKS to Sameer Dossani and Francoise Champey for arranging and translating the interviews.
Thanks to Sameer Dossani, line producer of this week’s program, Joia Jefferson Nuri, our senior producer, Warren Turner, our engineer and Ron Pinchback, WPFW General Manager.