Program: Tamikrest

Friday, January 13, 2023
City Winery 

Ousmane Ag Mossa (Mali) Lead Vocal, Acoustic + Electric Guitar
Andrew Sudhibhasilp (France/USA) Bass + Backing Vocal
Paul Salvagnac (France) Electric Guitar
Nicolas Grupp (France) Drums

When Tamikrest was founded in 2006 in Kidal, Mali, the musicians were all in their early twenties. Their youth was shaped by the civil war that took place between 1990 and 1995. Many family members and friends died while the Tuareg fought for their autonomy. When new riots broke out in 2006, Ousmane Ag Mossa and his friend Cheick Ag Tiglia decided not to fight with weapons, but to call attention to the Tuareg's cause with musical means. In their youth, they played the traditional music of the Kel Tamasheq (as the Tuareg call themselves) and the songs of the Tuareg band Tinariwen. They were also influenced by rock music by Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, and Mark Knopfler.

A chance meeting with the American-Australian band Dirtmusic at the Festival au Désert in 2008 (which took place about 50 miles west of Timbuktu) led to a friendship and musical collaboration. When Dirtmusic recorded their second album, BKO, in a studio in Bamako in 2010, Tamikrest were invited to play on that album. Chris Eckman (member of Dirtmusic and The Walkabouts) also produced Adagh, Tamikrest's first album. In 2010, both bands toured Europe together. In October 2010, Eckman produced Tamikrest's second album, Toumastin, which was released in April 2011. Since then, Tamikrest have released four more recordings on Glitterhouse Records including their most recent, Tamotäit, in 2020.

For most of the last ten years, Tamikrest have been a band in exile due to regional conflicts. Instead, they live in Algeria, Paris, and from time to time, along the desolate borderlands of Algeria and Mali. Despite these circumstances, the existence of Tamotaït is also a battle cry. The word tamotaït means hope for positive change, and according to singer and percussionist Aghaly Ag Mohamedine, the song “As Sastnan Hidjan” is about a revolution, “A revolution in the Tamasheq culture. We want to fight for our culture and tradition. We are not taking oppression for granted. We stand and we fight.”

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