Mali desert rock band Terakaft will perform at Stuart’s Opera House on Sept. 14.

Stuart’s to Host Desert Rock Pioneers Terakaft Sept. 14

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The sounds of Mali will fill Stuart’s Opera House when desert rock pioneers Terakaft take the stage on Monday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.

Formed in 2001 by a member of fellow Malian group Tinariwen, the group has taken the electric guitar and made it their own. Terakaft (meaning “caravan” in Tamasheq) is a genuine desert rock band, sculpted by the pure searing air and the endless rolling sands of the Sahara.

The Daily Telegraph describes Terakaft’s sound as“the starkest and most compelling excursion yet into the sonic world of the Sahara.” The group was started by Sanou Ag Ahmed, then based in Kidal, Mali, with Kedou Ag Ossad. Kedou was a member of the original line-up of Tinariwen.

Another original member of Tinariwen (and veteran of 20 years), Liya Ag Ablil (aka Diara), joined in 2006. Terakaft recorded their first studio album Bismilla, The Bko Sessions in four days at the legendary Bogolan Studios in Bamako, Mali. Following its release, Terakaft went on their first European tour in 2007 before releasing their second album, Akh Issudar in 2008.

Founding member Kedou left Terakaft in 2008 as he preferred to remain in the desert, and Diara stepped in as leader of the band. The band were then joined by Abdallah Ag Ahmed, Sanou’s younger brother, making Terakaft a true family band.

Known for their live performances, Terakaft’s rhythm guitars (one keeping the beat effortlessly, the other soaring and sweet), deep tones of the bass and percussion blend together to complete the group’s unique sound.

This show is the inaugural Stuart’s Opera House staff pick and comes highly recommended. This concert is being presented in part by the Ohio University Performing Arts and Concert Series. Tickets are available at