Omara “Bombino” Moctar will perform and give a clinic on his life and music.
Born in 1980 in Tidene, Niger, a Tuareg encampment about 80 kilometers northeast of Agadez, he is a member of the Ifoghas tribe and fled with his father and grandmother to Algeria in 1990 after the Tuareg Rebellion broke out. It was there that he first picked up a guitar. He later studied with renowned Tuareg guitarist Haja Bebe, and it was during his time as a member of Bebe's band that he got his nickname, Bombino, derived from the Italian word bambino, or little child. While living in Algeria and Libya during his teen years, Bombino and his friends watched videos of Jimi Hendrix, Mark Knopfler, and others to learn their styles. He worked as both a musician and a herder in the desert near Tripoli before returning to Agadez in 1997 to work as a professional musician. After another Tuareg Rebellion in 2007 ultimately resulted in guitars being banned for the Tuareg (they were considered a symbol of rebellion) and the execution of two of Bombino's fellow musicians, he went into exile again and was unable to return home until January of 2010.
Bombino has played and recorded with people including filmmaker Ron Wyman and Chris Decato, who helped him in producing his first album, Agadez, released in April of 2011, which debuted at the top of the iTunes World Chart. Dan Auerbach (the Black Keys) produced Bombino's second album, Nomad, which debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes World Chart and the Billboard World Chart. Bombino has performed at such festivals as Bonnaroo and the Newport Folk Festival, and he has opened for such acts as Robert Plant, Amadou and Mariam, and Gogol Bordello. His latest album is due for a 2016 release.