XJAZZ! FESTIVAL 2023
Born in 1980 in the nomadic Tuareg encampment Tidene, just outside Agadez, Niger, Bombino came of age during much political upheaval, fleeing with his family to Algeria by 1990, teaching himself guitar by watching videos of his heroes Jimi Hendrix, Dire Straits, Ali Farka Toure and Tinariwen, and returning to Agadez, seven years later, when he took on music professionally. After years of honing his skills back home and spending time as a shepherd in Libya, he first left Africa and traveled to California in 2006 as lead soloist on tour with Tidawt. There he recorded a desert blues take on the Rolling Stones classic "Hey Negrita'' alongside Keith Richards and Charlie Watts. The following year, filmmaker Hisham Mayet captured Bombino and his electric band for the recording Music from Niger: Guitars from Agadez, Vol. 2, released in 2009 on Sublime Frequencies, Bombino's first official album release.