Saturday, January 15, 2011

Echoes of Festival au Desert in Bamako

Issa Dicko
The reknowned Touareg historian Issa Dicko speaking at a conference on 15 January in Bamako. He discussed the origins, culture and customs of the Touareg people. The conference is part of an exposition on Touareg Culture held at the French Cultural Center at the square where the monument to the 50th Anniversary of Mali was built.

Also part of this exhibition was a concert on the evening of the 14th by Tadiazt. This group is comprised of instrumentalist members of the group Tartit and their children who are developing into a new group of prominence. Collaborating with them was the Italian saxophonist, Dmitri Espinoza, who is leader of the group Dinamitri from Florence. Dinamitri had collaborated with Tartit and others at the Festival au Desert the weekend before. The saxophonist followed the multiple notes of the tehardent (ngoni) players and kept a background of running pentatonic scales seemlessly incorporated into the traditional music of Tadiazt.  The collaboration began at a festival held in Florence Italy last July and organized by Fondazione Fabbrica Europa per le Arti Contemporanee.  The festival was called Festival au Desert/presenze d'Africa and is anticipated to be held again next July.  The organizers are headquartered in Florence and stage several festivals and concerts in that city.

Tadiazt with Dmitri Espinoza

Members of Tadiazt performing with Tartit at Festival au Desert 2011

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