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Image courtesy of The Agency Group

Fri, Oct 25, 2013 8 PM

“As good as Tuareg desert blues gets.… The guitars swim and swirl round dense, dry vocals with a rumbling bass groove driving a powerful circular, accelerating rhythm.”—fRoots

Terakaft (which translates as “caravan” in the Tamashek/Tuareg dialect of their home base) are purveyors of “desert blues,” the hypnotic, trance-inducing, guitar-led music that has developed in the Tuareg culture of Mali and the Sahara desert over the past two decades. The cofounders of the pioneering desert blues group Tinariwen broke away to form Terakaft a few years ago. Their sound closely mirrors that of the older band, but this stripped down trio avoid “world music” cross-cultural collaborations and rely more on subtle effectiveness in building their infectious grooves.

Terakaft’s songs address central concerns for their kinsmen, offering encouragement and hope to the young while mourning the loss of ancestral lands and the hardships of their life in exile. As Mali has been increasingly embroiled in war and strife, their music has taken on a pronounced political edge, “addressing the fight for self-determination head-on,” as the Chicago Reader noted. “They’re a seasoned unit, driving their arid grooves and incantations with an implacable sense of purpose.”

Wex fans have eagerly immersed themselves in the potent sounds of Ali Farka Toure, Bassekou Kouyate, and Tinariwen, and you will also want to be there for Terakaft’s concert.

Note: This show is standing room only. 

Programmed in conjunction with the exhibition Blues for Smoke.

Made in Ohio reception

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Wexner Center for the Arts

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