Waterfront Blues Fest and Soul'd Out Present
BOMBINO + Bon Bon Vivant
Thu July 4, 2024
( Doors: 9:00 pm ) SHOW: 10:00 pm PDT
Jack London Revue
529 SW 4th Ave., Portland, OR
Ages 21 and Up

Waterfront Blues Fest and Soul'd Out present

Guitar luminary + Tuareg folk hero Omara “BOMBINO” Moctar, who knows the nomadic life well. Being constantly on the road for his music while also perpetually on the move throughout the Sahel region of Africa is the norm.

His latest album Sahel named after this region spanning East-West from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, is Bombino’s most personal, powerful, and politically-minded work to date. It’s also his most sonically diverse, a quality he set out to achieve from the start, and one that is meant to directly mirror the complex tapestry of cultures and people that make up the Sahel region itself. He says, “the general plight of the Tuareg is always on my mind and while I’ve addressed it in my music all along, I wanted to give it a special focus on this album.”

Sahel follows from his 2018 Deran album that turned Bombino into the first-ever Grammy-nominated artist from Niger.

To bring the 10 unique songs on Sahel to life, Bombino worked closely with Welsh producer/ mixer David Wrench (David Byrne, Frank Ocean, Caribou, Goldfrapp, Erasure, The xx, Sampha). The songs range from the plight of the Tuareg to the ache of lost love to the follies of youth.

One of the standout songs “Aitma” features Bombino’s sparks-spraying guitar pyrotechnics, punctuated by howling ululations. It’s a call-to-arms delivered in his native Tamasheq. He explains: “When you look at the situations in each of the five countries that make up the Sahel (Libya, Algeria, Mauritania, Mali, and parts of Burkina Faso), the Tuareg people are not represented in these governments.” And only recently did that situation change in Niger.

Sahel looks forward and to the past, a mix of new and old songs, but each one of them resonated with Bombino for one reason or another.

Bombino has been fortunate to have like-minded exceptional guitarists like Dan Auerbach (of Black Keys) and David Longstreth (of Dirty Projectors) sit in the producer’s chair on previous albums.