TERAKAFT (Desert Blues) // Cheick Hamala Diabate's Griot Street at Bossa
Terakaft was born from the musical community around Tinariwen, the band whose members forged a new style in the 1980s as forced conscripts in Libyan military training camps and who later found their music embraced by their fellow Tuareg people who've launched a series of rebellions against the governments in Mali and Niger. Terakaft was founded by Kedou and is now led by Diara, both of whom were formative members of Tinariwen. Kedou, a celebrity in his own land thanks to his part in the history of the rebellion and also to his songs, founded Terakaft in 2001 with a very young Sanou. Later, they teamed up with Diara, one of the more exciting guitarist of Tinariwen, who is also Sanou's uncle. Diara was also the brother of Intiyeden, who died in 1994, and who was also a co-founder of Tinariwen with Ibrahim Abaraybone. Many moods spill together, like shifting sands, to create the sound of Terakaft. It feels old and new, peaceful but agitated, joyous and outraged. It is revolution rock born amid violent conflict, but is rooted in tradition. And in perhaps the ultimate signifier of subversive art, it's currently outlawed in the land where it was born.
Washington DC's resident griot, Cheick Hamala Diabate is The Real Deal: a storyteller, poet, historian, and dare we say rock 'n' roll star straight from Mali. With the griot tradition firmly nestled in his family tree his cousin is kora virtuoso Toumani Diabate; and his uncle is Djelimady Tounkara, legendary guitarist for the Super Rail Band his music evokes wisdom from the elders while maintaining an infectious beat, ideal for dancing. Cheick has played his n'goni (a banjo-like stringed instrument made from calabash and animal skin) the world over. Cheick is home at Bossa every Tuesday night and is often joined by an assortment of special guests from dancers and percussionists to vocalists and hip hop artists. Play your cards right, and you just might catch him on a night when his nephew joins him, complete with his balafon, a large, traditional idiophone akin to the xylophone!
2463 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
|Minimum Age: 21|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|