Formed 1982.


Tinariwen (Tamasheq: ⵜⵏⵔⵓⵏ, ⵜⵉⵏⵉⵔⵉ, tinariwén "deserts", plural of ténéré "desert") is a band of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali. The band was formed in 1979 in Tamanrasset, Algeria, but returned to Mali after a cease-fire in the 1990s. The group first started to gain a following outside the Sahara region in 2001, with the release of The Radio Tisdas Sessions, and the performances at Festival au Désert in Mali and at the Roskilde festival in Denmark. Their popularity rose internationally with the release of the critically acclaimed Aman Iman in 2007. Tinariwen's biography has variously been described as "the most compelling of any band" (Songlines), "the most rock'n'roll of them all" (The Irish Times), "hard-bitten" (Slate.com), and "dramatic" (The Independent).[citation needed]

The band released their fifth album Tassili on August 30, 2011. The album later won the Award for Best World Music Album at the 54th Grammy Awards.

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Links & Information

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Tissali

    Tissali 2011

    Reviewed by John Doran
    Tinariwen continue to shift perceptions of what ‘world’ music can be.
  2. Review of Imidiwan: Companions

    Imidiwan: Companions 2009

    Reviewed by Michael Quinn
    It hypnotically blends Malian desert blues with twanging guitar-led Tichumaren agit-prop.
  3. Review of Aman Iman: Water Is Life

    Aman Iman: Water Is Life 2007

    Reviewed by Jon Lusk
    As ‘difficult’ third albums go, this disc by the guitar-toting desert blues rebels...
  4. Review of Amassakoul

    Amassakoul 2004

    Reviewed by Jon Lusk
    A polished album from the leading Touareg desert blues band, dominated by...