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10 Malian Musicians You Should Know

Tinariwen

Natives of Mali’s northern desert region, Tinariwen’s remarkable history stretches over three decades and mirrors — to some extent, at least — that of their country. They formed in a refugee camp across the Libyan border in 1979, and were involved in the Tuareg rebellion of the early 1990s, returning to Mali after the ceasefire between Tuareg rebels and the government in Bamako. They rose to international fame during the relatively peaceful 2000s, and they’ve been involved in the country’s more recent history, too — the band’s vocalist Abdallah Ag Lamida was arrested by Islamist insurgents earlier this year, although happily he was released safe and sound.

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