The Consortium presents The Sahara Series: five concerts featuring major musicians from the African countries of Mali and Niger, all at Thunderbird Cafe, 4023 Butler St. in Lawrenceville. All shows are $12 advance/$15 door, 21+, and advance tickets can be purchased at Sound Cat Records (Bloomfield), Caliban Books (Oakland), Acoustic Music Works (Squirrel Hill) and Dave’s Music Mine (South Side), or online at the Thunderbird’s website at http://www.thunderbirdcafe.net.
These are performers who would normally be featured at the respect Festival of the Desert, held for a decade in northern Mali. However, that festival is now “in exile” due to the circumstances following the 2012 Tuareg rebellion which briefly proclaimed the independent nation of Azawad. In the aftermath, hardcore Islamist Ansar Al-Dine took over the region (supported by Al Qaida in the Maghreb) and attempted to impose sharia law, destroying Sufi shrines and priceless libraries in Timbuktu while banning music, alcohol and dancing, and oppressing women in the region. The French army came in and drove out the Islamists, and the region is now being patrolled by a U.N. force of African nations, but the danger remains.
Concert #1 in the series is:
Monday September 16 8 pm ‘Caravan of Peace’
MAMADOU KELLY – rising African blues guitarist from Niafunke, Mali and former member of Ali Farka Toure’s All-Stars.
LEILA GOBI – Tuareg singer from Menaka, Mali who also plays guitar, djembe, balafon and tinde, singing in several languages including her native Tamashek.
with special guests Batamba (excellent Latin jazz meets African rhythms)