Tinariwen (Tamashek: ⵜⵏⵔⵓⵏ, t-i-nàriw-en "deserts", plural of t-è-nere "desert") is a band of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali. The band was formed c. 1979 in refugee camps in Libya but returned to Mali after a cease-fire in the 1990s. The group first started to gain a following outside the Sahara region in 2001, with the release of The Radio Tisdas Sessions, and the performances at Festival au Désert in Mali and at the Roskilde festival in Denmark. Their popularity rose internationally with the release of the critically acclaimed Aman Iman in 2007. Tinariwen's biography has variously been described as "the most compelling of any band" (Songlines), "the most rock'n'roll of them all" (The Irish Times), "hard-bitten" (Slate.com), and "dramatic" (The Independent). The band is set to release a new album entitled Tassili on August 30, 2011.
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