Four thousand years of living in a hostile environment taught the Tuareg that the will to survive with dignity intact is stronger than any external threat. Bombino puts that sentiment to music, writes its anthem, and gives it a life of its own.
His electrifying jams capture the spirit of resistance and rebellion while echoing with guitar riffs reminiscent of fellow Africans Tinariwen and Ali Farka Touré as well as Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Page. Bombino is one of the great guitar players and performers in the Sahara and Sahel regions of Africa and he has a cult like following.
Raised during an era of armed struggles for independence and violent suppression by government forces, he started learning Tuareg guitar when music was forbidden by the authorities, living in a refugee camp in Tamanrasset.
Bombino was the subject of the 2010 documentary film Agadez, the Music and the Rebellion” directed by Ron Wyman. His last album, “Nomad” was produced by Dan Auerbach and debuted at #1 on the iTunes World Chart, while his latest album Azel drops in 2016 on Partisan Records with production from David Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors.
“Bombino’s playing live is sensational and puts me in mind of artists like John Lee Hooker, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Jimmy Reed. With lyrics that reflect the many problems and struggles of his people, he has the potential to be a great force in the future.”
Baaba Maal quoted by Bruce Elder in Sydney Morning Herald
"The singer and guitarist Bombino emerges from the dunes of the Sahara with his desert folk dancing in the flames. Absolutely magical.” Les Inrockuptibles (France)
"With the widely-acclaimed international release of Agadez Bombino has established himself as a definitive and timeless African guitarist. "He layers acoustic and electric guitar parts, undergirded by syncopated clapping, hand percussion, and lean bass lines, to form a rhythmically intricate lattice of propulsive licks, acid stabs, and snaking leads. Bombino's clenched, nasal singing perfectly complements the restrained, meditative music, leaping out of the hypnotizing grooves with the force of a spell caster's incantations."
Peter Margasak in Chicago Reader