Aman Iman

From a place where electric power is scarce comes music that deftly combines traditional call-and-response vocals, rolling hypnotic percussion, clapping rhythms and bluesy electric guitar. Tinariwen means “empty spaces,” a description of the Touareg region of the Sahara in Mali, where these nomad musicians live and sing a message of tribal pride and empowered pacifism. They wear the traditional desert clothes, not costumes, and they play and sing a beautiful hybrid of African and Western music, very much of it infectious and terrifically exciting. Along with those of Vieux Farka Touré and Markus James, their Festival in the Desert performances already, rightly, are legendary. The band first visited California last year and we’re hoping for a return in 2008.