Part 4 of Robert Plant’s Zirka, his Malian Journey mostly self-shot film, from the 2003 Festival in the Desert. Robert uploading new installments each Monday for next 5 weeks.

Watch on worldvillagejazzvillage.tumblr.com

(via Video: Bono x Tinariwen At The Festival au Désert)

This is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. I wish I could find the video on youtube, but it’s not there anymore. You can find it on the documentary about Festival in the Desert though. I’d give anything to be able to go to Festival in the Desert. Ever since I first discovered it years ago, I’ve been obsessed with it. Maybe one day….


Desert Queen by RobinnGeorge on Flickr.

(via Festival in the Desert 2012 LIVE - funds to finish the album by Christopher A Nolan — Kickstarter)

“Artists featured on this live recording are: Habib Koite, Tinariwen, Kiran Ahluwalia, Tartit, Khaira Arby, the Ali Farka Toure Allstars, Abdoulaye Diabate, Oumar Konate with Leila Gobi, and more.  There are 16 tracks in all!

…Through a rights agreement with the Festival organization, a majority of the funds earned by sale of the CD’s and digital downloads (or whatever other means of distribution) will go directly to the artists and to the Festival au Desert. The artists maintain their mechanical royalty rights for any track on which they appear.  So, your help now will help the Festival and the artists directly.

And if you’ve watched the news, you will know that the Festival is now banned from being held on its home territory of Northern Mali and most of these artists are no longer able to return to their homes.  Many are refugees in the South of Mali or in neighboring countries.

Essentially. this is a presale of the CD’s.  To anyone who gives $20 we’ll send a copy of the final CD.”

A worthy cause!!


Timbuktu Is Calling…To Mali Or Not To Mali?

The Festival in the Desert outside Timbuktu, Mali had been called “Burning Man” meets “One Thousand and One Nights,” an otherworldly experience that captured the Tamashek tradition of nomadic clans meeting to celebrate in the middle of the desert. Few festivals in the world had more “street cred” with festival aficionados than this one, even though it’s a relatively young festival (first year was 2000).

Read On


Part 8 (of 8) of Robert Plant’s Zirka, his Malian Journey mostly self-shot film, from the 2003 Festival in the Desert. 


Robert Plant | Zirka Part 1 | Malian Journey to and from Festival in the Desert 2003 (by Robert Plant)

Featuring music from Tinariwen, off Imidiwan: Companions and more!


Festival in the Desert

Festival in the Desert

Following the announcement that western music is Satan’s music, the location of Mali’s famous Festival in the Desert has been changed for 2013.

Music is broadcast to us through all types of media and is a significant part of everyday life across the world, but Malian music is possibly more intertwined with the way of life than anywhere else, although this has now been refused.

In the UK if you are a group of teenagers, playing your favourite music out loud in a public place, you are bound to get some disapproving looks, and the odd comment about the noise. Whereas in Gao if you do this, the Islamic police are more than likely to remove and destroy the music and offer you something deemed appropriate by officials.

Where there was once joy, happiness, music and dancing, are now frustration, despair and deprivation. Regardless of the ban of western music, Manny Ansar,the director of the eminent festival is confident that no one can kill the enjoyment Malian music brings. In a recent press release, Manny has said: “The Festival in the Desert must survive all this, even as a nomad like those who founded it, until it can again settle somewhere.”


Part 7 (of 8) of Robert Plant’s Zirka, his Malian Journey mostly self-shot film, from the 2003 Festival in the Desert. 

(via Mali music ban by Islamists ‘crushing culture to impose rule’ | Music | The Guardian)

“[Manny] Ansar said he was 'ashamed at what has happened has happened – and it was provoked by people who call themselves Muslims, like me’.

When I met him at a censorship conference in Oslo, he said the militias were stopping the music 'to impose their authority, so there’s nothing to threaten them’. He added: 'That’s why they are attacking the traditional chiefs and musicians. And they’re using concepts of Islam that are 14 centuries old and have never been applied. I find it strange that these ideas are being imposed now. It’s as if they took a computer and wiped the hard drive, and then imposed their ideas instead.’

…Tinariwen are currently back in northern Mali, or living in exile in southern Algeria, but when they played in London last year, guitarist and bass player Eyadou Ag Leche talked of their problems since the Islamists took over the north.

Young people have been stopped from listening to music and families have had their televisions smashed for watching music shows, but music was still being played "underground”, he said.

As for the Islamists, he said that he “didn’t know where these people had come from”, and suggested they were financed through Qatar.

Other bands from the rebel areas reported similar problems. Pino Ibrahim ag Ahmed, of Terakaft, said he had been forced into exile in Algeria and “lost much of his land”. He said: “I don’t know these groups, or what they want, and it’s dangerous moving around.” But he was determined to keep playing…“