Thursday 31 August 2017, 7.30pm
In the somewhat crowded scene of Tuareg guitarists, Mdou stands apart from his peers. One of the few original singer/songwriters willing to experiment and push the boundaries of the genre, his unconventional styles have won him accolades both in Niger and abroad.
Mdou Moctar hails from Abalak, in the Azawagh desert of Niger. He taught himself the guitar at a young age on a homemade instrument. Inspired by returning Ishumar, Mdou traveled the road to Libya where he traveled and worked odd jobs. As chance had, he would meet some of the now famous guitarists and further his musical studies. He returned home with a guitar and a dream.
Rising to the status as local celebrity, in 2008 he traveled to Nigeria to record his first album “Anar” – a psychedelic electronic album of Tuareg guitar, became an instant success throughout the mp3 networks of West Africa. “Tahoultine,” one of the standout tracks, was later featured on the compilation “Music from Saharan Cellphones.”
In 2013, he released his first international album, “Afelane,” rocking and raw sessions recorded live at his hometown in Niger. He is currently in production in the first ever Tuareg language film, a fictional story of the struggle of a guitarist trying to make it against all odds in Agadez.
TootArd (Arabic for Strawberries) is a “mountain rock reggae” band from the majestic mountainside village of Majdal Shams in the Occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Their “Laissez Passer” documents say their identities are “Undefined” but they are sure that music will lead them. Singing in Arabic and gliding across the borders of West African, Saharan, Caribbean grooves and classical Arabic modalities, they will make every audience laugh, dance, smile, ask questions, and imagine the many possibilities for a better future…