The Ensemble Tartit are Malian Tamashek (Tuareg), comprising five women and four men. Tartit means 'union' in their language. They met in a refugee camp in Burkina Faso, where their music was a means of survival against the social and political mayhem in the Sahara Desert.
Political strife for freedom and equality led, thus, to the formation of tartit in 1995. Within months after their foundation in 1995, Tartit performed their debut concert at the MASA Trade Fair for African Arts in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
In that same year they were invited to the Festival of Women's Voices in Liege, Belgium. Tartit first toured Europe in 1998 and in 2000 they performed for the first time in North America. At the WOMAD Festival in Seattle, the group unrolled an exciting set of their own and joined fellow Malians Ali Farka Toure and Afel Bocoum on stage.
They subsequently enchanted audiences at many podia, including the Festival of the Desert, where they unfolded their entrancing sounds alongside the aforementioned Malian artists and also with Tinariwen, Robert Plant, Oumou Sangare, Lo'Jo and Baba Salah.
Tartit also collaborated with other musicians including the Irish singer-songwriter Susan McKeown in her album Sweet Liberty, and in compilations such as the double CD Reves d' oasis - Desert Blues 2.
Tartit released their first album, entitled Amazagh, in 1997. Their fame was, though, frimly established by Ichchila, their second album. Recorded in 2000, this opus generated a lot of positive vibes in the world press.
The group has just released their third album called Abacabok, which is equally being well received. Their songs are expressions of hope, peace and expose the power of life. To contribute actively to the development of their region, the band also formed a U.
N-recognized association dedicated to preserving and raising awareness of their music and culture. The association, likewise, develops schools for children and economic opportunities for women.The female members of the band use the traditional instruments of imzad (fiddle) and tinde (drum), supplemented by teherdent (ngoni lute) and/or electric guitar played by the men.
Mingling these instruments with their chants, percussive handclaps and call-and-response patterns forms the principal ingredient of their work. Tartit's webpage on Divanprod.com
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