Tuareg Guitar

Tuareg guitar has become one of the most popular folk music in the contemporary Sahara. Originally political ballads, created in exile in Libya, today the sound has expanded to encompass everything from introspective love songs, blistering psychedelic rock, and synthesizer and drum machine. At its core, the music still relies on poetry to transmit a message, carried by the pentatonic solos of a guitar.

Browse the Sahel Sounds archive below for an extensive collection of posts, recordings, and albums about the genre.

facebook in the rainy season

Alamnou Akrouni, Fatou Seidi Ghali Fatou - Song 1 Fatou Seidi Ghali is a guitarist - of note, perhaps, as the other woman guitarist in Niger (there are only two). Over a year prior, a photo was circulating on Facebook of her playing a red electric guitar in a festival.…

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here be dragons

The debut tour of Mdou Moctar and the band wrapped up last month. I've spent the past month since the tour thinking of how best to sum up the experience. In lieu of too many words, I've put together this short collaborative video collage: (photos here) In the concerts, the…

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mariam ahmed

Mariam Ahmed is a guitarist in Agadez, which in itself is not spectacular. With so many guitarists in the city, one needs not to search far. However, there are practically no female guitarists in Tuareg music and Mariam is perhaps one of a handful across the diaspora. Tuareg guitar is…

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timia pt 2

Visiting Niamey, we lodge with the students from Timia. Our last sessions of recordings have made their way throughout the diaspora (previously). Haidara tells me they've been playing one of his songs on the radio in Agadez. We enter into a debate about the pros and cons of Bluetooth file…

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Niger Guitars Pt. 2

Haïdara and Abdoulaye live with their friends in a compound on the fringes of Niamey, the capital of Niger. The two concrete buildings house perhaps thirty students who have come here to attend the University. They are all from the town of Timia, an oasis in the Aïr mountains far…

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Niger Guitars Pt. 1

Mohamed Karzo - C'est La Vie Guitar music in Niger is curiously distant from its Malian cousins. Looking at a map of the Sahara and following the roads, it makes sense - though the two countries share a border, the respective capitals (Kidal, Agadez) are often reached via a circuitous…

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