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[Note (1/3/12): Change To Tinariwen Festival Line-Up]


“Relentless and brilliant as the Saharan sun.” The Guardian (UK)

The distinctive sounds of North African band Tinariwen have captivated the world, as has the epic story of their survival. This remarkable band performs in New Zealand for one night only at the New Zealand International Arts Festival 2012.

Born out of Libya’s refugee camps and fuelled by Mali’s Tuareg rebellions, Tinariwen’s mesmerising music began as a way to highlight the persecution of their nomadic people. Known as ‘desert blues’, their songs feature incredible electric guitar riffs and the vibrant beats of hand drums. Their lyrics rage against the plight of the Tuareg people and reflect on their disappearing lifestyle, in existence for thousands of years.

In a career spanning 30 years, Tinariwen has produced five albums (their last recorded on acoustic instruments in the Algerian desert) and played at over 700 major festival concerts throughout the world, inspiring everyone from Carlos Santana to Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

“Like the Rolling Stones, the Byrds, Kraftwerk and AC/DC, they have created a sound that is theirs and theirs alone,’’ wrote The Guardian in 2009, “a rolling, dusty groove whipped mercilessly into great uncoiling waves of rhythm, overlaid with the mournful, atavistic moan that remains the expressive birthright of the world’s dispossessed, whether they be Mississippi cotton-pickers, displaced Aborigines or North African nomads.’’

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From the sands of the Sahara to their one-night only Town Hall concert, Tinariwen’s music expresses an emotional resonance that transcends language.

The 2012 Town Hall Gigs include music from Tinariwen (Mali), Barefoot Divas (New Zealand, Australia and international) with Walk A Mile In My Shoes, Bon Iver (USA), Sharon Shannon Big Band (Ireland) and Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band (USA) with Cubano Be! Cubano Bop!

Tinariwen is at the Wellington Town Hall on 13 March for the 2012 New Zealand International Arts Festival, Wellington, 24 February – 18 March. Tickets $38 – $68 available from Ticketek.


Presented by arrangement with Arts Projects Australia

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