Tinariwen are a Grammy-winning Tuareg band from the Sahara who have been crucial in the emergence of "desert blues". They have released eight studio albums and traveled all around the world to play more than 1100 shows since 2001.
There is a depth of feeling in Tinariwen’s music that is universal. But to really understand the message of their songs, you need to understand where they’re from. Tinariwen are Tuaregs, children of a nomadic Berber tribe who have roamed the Saharan desert for thousands of years. Over recent centuries, colonialism has seen the Tuareg’s ancestral territory partitioned into distinct countries - Mali, Algeria, Libya, Niger. This drawing of borders has turned the Tuareg into ishumar, a displaced people in search of a homeland lost to them. Tinariwen’s music – a blend of West African traditional music a nd electrified rock’n’roll – speaks directly this feeling of longing: a sound that critics have called “desert blues”.
Today, Tinariwen are a multi-generational, Grammy-winning band who count among their fans some of the biggest names in Western music. They have released eight studio albums and traveled all around the world to play more than 1100 shows since 2001.