African music comes to Aspen | AspenTimes.com

African music comes to Aspen

Dear Editor:

Two years ago in leaving the Festival in the Desert (near Timbuktu, Mali), a full moon was rising. Our driver, Aly Arauane, put a tape on for the drive back to Timbuktu. We were sad to be leaving because Habib Koite was to play that evening, but we had a plane to catch some 400 kilometers away, and a lot of bad roads to navigate. The tape played, and we sat back to listen and take in the moon. Aly played the tape over and over again on the whole trip back to Mopti. I wondered why he did not change tapes. By the time we had arrived at the airport, I was hooked. I asked Aly if he had an extra copy, and he gave me his only copy. Back home, I tried to get it into CD form. One day, while breezing around Amazon.com, I came across Tinariwen’s Ammaskoul. It was the same recording.

Tinariwen is coming to Aspen at the Wheeler with Vieux Farka Toure (son of the late Aly Farka Toure). Even though the date is one day after Halloween ” Nov. 1 ” you cannot miss this very special event. Tinariwen comes from Mali; they are Tuareg, they play guitars, and they sing. At this moment, they have just finished a tour of Europe that was smashing. They have been opening for the Rolling Stones in England at music festivals. You will not just be entertained; you will be amazed. And, with the son of Aly Farka Toure playing the opening, one thought will occur to you: Buy both tapes. You aficionados of Malian music, snap up those tickets, and I will see you there.

Andy Hanson

Aspen