With their heartfelt vocal harmonies set to the complex rhythms of their shouts and handclapping and the accompaniment of the tehardent and imzod -- predecessors of the guitar and violin -- Ensemble Tartit brings voice to the nomadic music of the Sahara Desert. Formed by members of refugee camp women's association in Burkina Faso, the group continues to mix traditional songs about traveling and heroic men and women of the past with new tunes about the changing role of women and the quest for peace. According to www.azawan.com, "to hear their ballads and their compelling call-and-response songs is to be transported into the endless expanses of the Sahara. You can hear the flames crackling as you listen to the entrancing voices of these women." Much of Ensemble Tartit's repertoire was culled from the traditional songs of the Tuaregs of the Kel Antessar Confederation, a nomadic group who live in the Niger River Basin of northern Mali. Performing their debut concert at the MASA Trade Fair for African Arts in Abidjin, Ivory Coast, in 1995, they toured Europe with the Kocani Orkestar in 1998. They performed for the first time in North America in 2000. At the WOMAD Festival in Seattle, the group performed an exciting set of their own and joined fellow Malians Afel Bocoum and Ali Farka Toure on stage. The members of Ensemble Tartit currently reside in Belgium.
Share this page