In the southern Sahara, under the control of Libya’s Colonel Gadhafi, young Tuareg men are shoved from their nomadic pastoralist lives into involuntary military service. So it is a small, joyous miracle that such oppression has also traversed into the beautiful music of Tinariwen, a troupe of worldbeat multi-instrumentalists who formed in Gadhafi’s rebel training camps. Their traditional lutes and shepherd’s flutes (plus some not-so-generational electric guitars) mix with politically weighted lyrics in the Afrobeat vein of tishoumaren. For this, their albums The Radio Tisdas Sessions (2001) and Amassakoul (2004) are illegal in some African nations—and still, Tinariwen persevere in performances around the world. It seems that they—and, yes, some of their brave peers—elect not so much to fight as to triumph. With Hassan Hakmoun.
Fri., April 24, 7:30 p.m., 2009