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BOMBINO

Friday, October 4, 2024 | 8:30 pm - 10:00 pm


LowDown

|

Tulsa

,

OK

Rolling Stone, calls Tuareg guitarist and singer Omara “Bombino” Moctar “a perfect match of sound and soul”—a virtuoso of the desert. His dazzling live performance and virtuosity on the guitar have led notable music critics to compare him to Jimi Hendrix. Born and raised in Niger, Bombino is a member of the Tuareg tribe, a nomadic people descended from the Berbers of North Africa for centuries they have fought against colonialism and the imposition of strict Islamic rule. During his lifetime, the Tuareg people have fought the Niger government to secure their rights on numerous occasions, causing Bombino and his family to flee several times.

During one such exile, relatives visiting from the front lines of the rebellion left behind a guitar and Bombino began teaching himself to play, eventually studying with the renowned Tuareg guitarist Haja Bebe, who asked him to join his band, where he acquired the nickname Bombino—a variation on the Italian word for “little child.” While living in Algeria and Libya in his teen years, Bombino’s friends played him videos of Jimi Hendrix and Mark Knopfler, among others, which they watched over and over in an effort to master their licks. Bombino worked regularly as a musician and also as a herder in the desert near Tripoli, spending many hours alone watching the animals and practicing his guitar. Eventually, Bombino returned to Niger, where he continued to play with a number of local bands. As his legend grew, a Spanish documentary film crew helped Bombino record his first album, Group Bombino’s Guitars from Agadez Vol. 2, which became a local radio hit. In 2009, Bombino met filmmaker Ron Wyman, who had heard a cassette of Bombino’s music while traveling near Agadez. Wyman was enchanted by Bombino’s music and tracked him down. Bombino eventually returned to Agadez with Wyman and staged a concert to celebrate a newfound peace in his country. That event established Bombino as a hero of the Tuareg people, and set in motion his newfound place on the world stage.

Being constantly on the road for his music while also perpetually on the move throughout the Sahel region of Africa is the norm. So when the pandemic brought the world to a screeching halt, Bombino found himself in an unfamiliar space: being in one place. “I’m used to traveling virtually every week and then I was locked down for two years,” he says from his home in Niamey, the capital of Niger. “On the positive side, I get back in touch with my home and spend real time there with my family for the first time in a long time.”

What resulted was the follow-up to 2018’s Deran, a record that turned Bombino into the first-ever Grammy-nominated artist from Niger. This new collection of songs, entitled Sahel after the African region spanning East-West from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, is Bombino’s most personal, powerful, and politically-minded work to date. It’s also his most sonically diverse, a quality he set out to achieve from the start, and one that is meant to directly mirror the complex tapestry of cultures and people that make up the Sahel region itself. The ten songs that comprise Sahel range in theme from the plight of the Tuareg to the ache of lost love to the follies of youth.

Details

Date:
Friday, October 4, 2024
Time:
8:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Cost:
$15 – $30

Venue

LowDown
108 N Detroit Ave
Tulsa, OK 74103 United States
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