BOMBINO with Micromasse

Electrifying rhythm-led rebellion music mixed with bluesy desert jams

Meditative and earthy, Tuareg guitarist and singer Omara “Bombino” Moctar conjures the expansiveness of the Sahara landscape. Bombino's dazzling live performances and virtuosity on the guitar have led notable music critics to compare him to Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Neil Young, and Jerry Garcia.

His most recent album, "Nomad," has been named among NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums of 2013, to Rolling Stone's list of the 50 Best Albums of 2013 and to Uncut's list of the Best World Music Albums.  The album was recorded with 2013 Grammy Award-winning Producer of the Year Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys at his Nashville studio, Easy Eye Sound. The result is a marvelous set, full of grit and funky elegance, a kind of mesh of Tuareg rhythms with Deep South delta country trance blues. Nomad debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Music album chart and iTunes World chart and has earned rave reviews from top media outlets around the world including BBC World Service, which calls it "utterly, utterly fantastic" and Rolling Stone, which calls Nomad "a perfect match of sound and soul [that] introduces a new guitar hero."

Born and raised in Niger, in the northern city of Agadez, Bombino is a member of the Tuareg Ifoghas tribe, a nomadic people descended from the Berbers of North Africa; for centuries they have fought against colonialism and the imposition of strict Islamic rule.

During his lifetime, the Tuareg people have fought the Niger government to secure their rights on numerous occasions, causing Bombino and his family to flee several times. During one such exile, relatives visiting from the front lines of the rebellion left behind a guitar and Bombino began teaching himself to play it. He eventually studied with the renowned Tuareg guitarist Haja Bebe, who asked him to join his band, where he acquired the nickname Bombino—a variation on the Italian word for “little child.”

While living in Algeria and Libya in his teen years, Bombino’s friends played him videos of Jimi Hendrix and Mark Knopfler, among others, which they watched over and over in an effort to master their licks. Bombino worked regularly as a musician and also as a herder in the desert near Tripoli, spending many hours alone watching the animals and practicing his guitar. Eventually, Bombino returned to Niger, where he continued to play with a number of local bands. As his legend grew, a Spanish documentary film crew helped Bombino record his first album, Group Bombino’s Guitars from Agadez Vol. 2, which became a local radio hit.

In 2009, Bombino met filmmaker Ron Wyman, who had heard a cassette of Bombino’s music while traveling near Agadez. Wyman was enchanted by Bombino’s music and spent a year seeking him out, eventually tracking him down to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where he was in exile after two band members were killed in a rebellion. (The Tuaregs have since put down their arms and returned to Niger.) At the end of the war, Bombino returned to Agadez with Wyman and staged a concert to celebrate the newfound peace that established Bombino as a hero of the Tuareg people.


Omara Moctar knows how to shred... [he] positively slays. - Pitchfork 

The singer and guitarist Bombino emerges from the dunes of the Sahara with his desert folk dancing in the flames. Absolutely magical.Les Inrockuptibles (France)

Bombino’s tone distinguishes him as an emerging artist with something to say. Bright and cutting on the upswing, percussive on the downbeat, snatches of Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and even Jerry Garcia can be heard in the sound Bombino creates. - No Depression

More praise for Nomad....

A perfect match of sound and soul, the set introduces a new guitar hero. [Four stars] - Rolling Stone

The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach pairs up with monster Tuareg guitarist Bombino fora dream-team album... Nomad is a seductive album that manages to bring a distant Islamic culture unexpectedly close through the universal language of rock 'n' roll. - NPR

Bombino is…a star. The lyrics aim to celebrate and protect Tuareg culture and identity. But I’ll be surprised if many listeners, under seduction of the music, bother to read them. - The New York Times

By setting to song meditations on life, patience, history and heritage – sung in his native Tuareg tongue – Bombino and his band have released a killer document not only for fans of North African guitar music; (but for) anyone who has ever appreciated a master player make magic on a Fender...  - Los Angelels Times



This Portland, Maine band is inspired by the great organ trios of the 1960's and 70's but with an ear towards the future. MicroMasse carves a deep groove to please the soul, with intricate arrangements to thrill the heart. Organist Peter Dugas, guitarist Max Cantlin and drummer Chris Sweet combine their love of American Jazz and European improvisation with traditional and contemporary poly-rhythmic influences from Africa and Latin America. A truly unique musical experience to set foots tapping and faces smiling!

Micromasse, a jazz trio featuring Max Cantlin, Chris Sweet and Peter Dugas, is as cool as they come; showing off some incredible chops with the finesse and nuance needed to create a true mood. - Dispatch Magazine


The Strand Lobby and Balcony Bars are open for all concerts, for those 21+ with valid ID.

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Show Dates & Times:

9/4/14 - Thursday

7:30 pm,

$25/General Admission ON SALE NOW

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