Tinariwen has quite the epic background story: founding member Ibrahim Ag Alhabib's father was arrested and executed by the Malian government in front of his son; Alhabib and his family fled; Alhabib ran away from home at age nine and joined the bands of wandering "chomeurs," the unemployed nomads of the Sahara; Alhabib saw a cowboy film in a desert theatre and constructed a homemade guitar out of a tin can, a stick and bicycle brake wire; Alhabib began singing songs in the traditional Touareg manner, but instead of old folklore as his topic, he sang of homesickness, despair and political uprising; Alhabib joined other men of his generation with similar interests in music and created Tinariwen, a band that has deep ties to every Touareg in the southern Sahara. Harnessing critical acclaim for its modern take on traditional Touareg folk, the band has released four studio albums and tours tirelessly.

Location:  The UC Theatre, 2036 University Avenue

Date:  Jul 31, 2018 8 p.m.