Tinariwen, a Saharan musical group whose members fought in the revolutionary uprising of the nomadic Touareg people against the Malian government, is scheduled to perform this year as part of the Twilight Dance Series on the Santa Monica Pier (ocean end of Colorado Avenue), Santa Monica.

The concert performance is set to take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14th. Admission is free.

The music of Tinariwen is often compared to the blues of Ali Farka Toure.

Forced from their nomadic life in the Sahara, the members of Tinariwen fought in the Touareg people’s insurgency against the government of Mali. The band was formed in 1992 inside of a rebel camp.

Radicalized (not to mention inspired) by war and drought, they created a new style of music loosely based on traditional Touareg music, that includes modern electric guitars and drums along with the traditional instruments. Traditional Malian instruments include the djembe drum, a 21-stringed harp called the kora, the fulani flute, the njarka, the belafon and the calabash.

The group draws influence from reggae legend Bob Marley and styles from Western and Middle Eastern civilizations that managed to penetrate into the southern Saharan desert.

The Touareg people are the nomadic tribe scattered among Algeria, Mali and Niger.

Touareg men are known as “indigo warriors of the desert” due to the indigo-dyed robes that they commonly wear.

The songs of Tinariwen mourn the passing of the epic golden age of the Saharan tribes and tribal customs, while endeavoring to map out a future for the generations who must survive beyond it and live in the modern world.

Their sung poetry calls for the political awakening of consciousness and approaches the problems of life in exile, repression in Mali, the policy of their people’s expulsion to Algeria, and claims for sovereignty and self-determination.

Mali is the largest West African country, historically known for its deposits of gold and salt, and was under French colonial rule from about 1898 until 1960.

Members of Tinariwen speak French and their traditional tongue known as Tamashek, but no English, according to Twilight Dance Series organizers.

Information, (310) 458-8900.

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