Mdou Moctar with Zomes at Black Cat
9:00 Mdou Moctar
In the crowded scene of Tuareg guitarists, Mdou Moctar stands apart from his peers. Playing in the repertoire of desert guitar popularized by groups like Tinariwen and Bombino, Mdou is pushing the boundaries of the genre with a uniquely personal sound. With versatile compositions and genre-defying albums, Mdou's music has been an underground success with an international following, set on redefining the sound of the desert. Mdou Moctar hails from a small village in the Azawagh desert of Niger, a remote region steeped in religious tradition. As a child, he taught himself to play a homemade guitar, cobbled together out of planks of wood. It was years later before he found a “real” guitar, teaching himself in secret. In an area where guitar music was all but prohibited, he quickly rose to the status of the local celebrity amongst the village youth.
Mdou Moctar and his band have toured Europe and North America, playing sold out shows from small DIY rock clubs in Portland to New York City's Lincoln Center. His music has been featured in the BBC, The Guardian, Pitchfork, New Yorker, L.A. Weekly, NPR, Rolling Stone, Les Inrocks, and his film continues to be screened at film festivals around the world. From underground star of Niger to international film star, Mdou Moctar has undoubtedly one of the quickest rises to success.