Wexner Center for the Arts



“Meet your new guitar hero.”—Rolling Stone

Fans of globe-spanning artists have found much to savor at the Wexner Center over the years, including dozens of acts from Africa that would likely not otherwise appear here in Columbus: from Ali Farka Touré, the Master Musicians of Joujouka, and Baaba Maal to Salif Keita, Bassekou Kouyate, and the desert blues of Tinariwen and Terakaft. This fall we’re pleased to introduce Omara Moctar—nicknamed Bombino—another great Tuareg guitarist. Through his playing Bombino blends his deep roots in that nomadic Saharan culture with inspiration found in such rockers as Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and Mark Knopfler.

Bombino’s most recent album, Nomad, on the adventuresome Nonesuch label, brought the guitarist to wider attention for the soulful grooves he tapped with the help of his producer, Ohio’s own Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. With his lyrical flights reflecting on love, the expansive beauty of the desert, and his heritage, Bombino’s guitar pushes the rhythmic pulse in the desert blues tradition, with hypnotic power and seductive coiling lines, while bringing expressive new dimensions to the Tuareg sound.

As a New York Times reviewer noted of Bombino’s playing in a live setting, “There were glimmers of funk, Caribbean rhythms or blues-rock…but only as much as they overlap with the music’s African character. Amid the band’s drive, Bombino stays both barbed and methodical….It’s a groove of solidarity and tenacity, as serious as it is danceable.”

Note: This show is standing room only.