A multitude of musical heritages came together on Assarouf, the 1997 collaborative album by Steve Shehan and Baly Mebarek Othmani. The partnership represented everything from Shehan's Cherokee and Irish heritage to Othmani's ancestral roots in nomadic Tuarege. Shehan, who speaks at least 14 languages and plays over 500 percussion instruments, as well as flamenco and jazz guitar, keyboards, bass and piano, is best known as the producer or co-producer of more than 200 albums including recordings by Brian Eno, the Gypsy Kings, Vangelis and Herbie Hancock. Algeria-born Othmani, who plays the oud, sings in the ancient language of Tamachek. Together, the duo created a sound that fused their diverse backgrounds.
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