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1 June 2024

In the Joan Sutherland Theatre

Contemporary Music

Fifteen years after their hypnotic performance at the Sydney Opera House, veteran desert blues outfit Tinariwen are back to play Vivid LIVE – showcasing their sensational mix of West African, Arab and traditional blues music for one show only.

Rock’n’ roll rebels whose rebellion, for once, wasn’t just metaphorical.


Saharan guitar rock legends unleash their desert power

From rebels in exile to world music superstars, the members of veteran Tuareg rock collective Tinariwen have led a wild life since coming together on the border of Mali and Algeria back in 1979. More than four decades into their existence, the Saharan rockers remain as vital as ever, giving voice to the Tuareg people while continuing to expand their global fanbase with their pioneering assouf sound – a combination of West African, Arab, and American blues and folk music.

Founded by guitarist and singer Ibrahim Ag Alhabib – the son of a murdered Tuareg rebel, he famously built his first guitar from an oil can, a stick and a bicycle brake wire – Tinariwen spent much of the ’80s in exile, honing their music as rebellion brewed in their leader’s native Mali. The band began to attract international attention in the ’90s, which culminated in the release of their debut full-length, The Radio Tisdas Sessions, in 2001. Amassakoul (2004) and Aman Iman (2007) followed to success and critical acclaim, attracting such fans as Thom Yorke, Robert Plant, Brian Eno and Carlos Santana. Their soulful grooves and distinctive guitar work also drew the admiration of Wilco, Cat Power, Bon Iver and Jack White, the latter inviting Tinariwen to record at his Nashville studio for last year’s Amatssou – an intoxicating mix of the band’s trademark assouf sound and classic Americana. Tinariwen have been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, winning Best World Music Album in 2017 for Elwan.

Marking their return to the Sydney Opera House for the first time since their mesmerising performance in 2009, Tinariwen will play the Joan Sutherland Theatre for one show only. Don’t miss your chance to experience one of the world’s greatest musical collectives, live for one night only.

Presented by Sydney Opera House


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