Tinariwen are a band from Mali with four albums to their credit, each one drop dead brilliant. Their ability to communicate and touch the listener emotionally without uttering a single word that anyone who doesn’t speak the native Tamashek language could understand lies not only in the power of music but is also a testament to the overall strength and beauty of their songs.
The Tuareg musicians hailing from the Sahara will perform at The Palace of Fine Arts Sunday, February 21st as part of the ongoing SF Jazz Festival.
The inception of Tinariwen goes back to the 70’s when the group's founder Ibrahim Ag Alhabib fled his home, a refugee camp, and met up with fellow teenage exiles Hassan Ag Touhami and Inteyeden Ag Ablil who shared his interest in poetry and music. The boys soon found a following playing parties and receptions while writing about survival and freedom. They were referred to as ‘Kel Tinariwen,' or 'The Desert Boys.’
Tinariwen’s music provides a spiritual connection. When you splice together the influences of Dire Straits, Santana, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix into a more intriguing shape that pulsates with exotic rhythms and the joy of experimental cross-fertilization you are sharing a profound moment.
Imidiwan: Companions, their latest album released in 2009, is a stunning collection of songs recorded in the band's hometown of Tessalit. Songs are uncompromising, from the opening track “Imidiwan Afrik Temdam” to “Tenhert” through “Kel Tamashek.” It’s impossible not to be caught up in this emotional ride.
Tinariwen perform at the Palace of Fine Arts Sunday, Feb. 21 at 7pm. Tickets are $25/$45/$65 and are available at the SFJazz Box Office, 3 Embarcadero Center (lobby level), online at www.sfjazz.org
or by calling 1-866-920-5299.