Tamikrest in tamasheq language means junction, connection, knot, coalition. The group members come from different horizons (Mali, Niger, Algeria and France). Wanting to assume fully their Touareg identity, they found in the rebel music Ishumar the means to express it. “A desert hosts us, a language unites us, a culture binds us.”
The story begins at Kidal, capital of the eighth Region of Mali, while making tea of course. Pino, Cheikh and Mossa had just finished a guitar workshop with Juhan Ecaré (guitarist for Meiway) when they decided to form a group with only two old ‘home made’ guitars. And they got to work… “Even though we are young, guitars still have six cords!”
After one year and a half of hard work, the group is complete and their repertory has grown to contain more than twenty-five original compositions. Though their music takes root in Ishumar Rock or Tuareg Blues, it borrows from various international influences as well as from neighbouring cultures.
Through the message of their songs, Tamikrest want to make Tamasheq poetry and culture accessible to inhabitants of a world larger than the immensity of the Saharian desert.
Orkesta Mendoza is based in Tucson, Ariz., but frontman Sergio Mendoza grew up in the border towns of Nogales, Ariz., and Nogales, Sonora, and he pulls influences from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border into his music.
If you've never seen Orkesta Mendoza live, it's a little bit like walking into a different era. The six-piece group sets up like a big band, even wearing matching suits. The highly stylized, crisp look mirrors the band's precise execution of the music, resulting in electric live shows packed with crowds of sweaty people where it's not unusual to just start dancing with a stranger.
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