Bombino: Star in the making

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Bombino is the stage name of Tuareg guitarist/songwriter Omara Moctar, from North Africa. According to his bio, he “was raised during an era of armed struggles for independence and violent suppression by government forces. His electrifying jams capture the spirit of resistance and rebellion while echoing with guitar riffs reminiscent of fellow Africans Tinariwen and Ali Farka Touré not to mention rock and blues icons such as Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Page.”

While still a teenager, Bombino studied with guitarist Haja Bebe and joined Bebe’s band. In ‘95 he landed a role as an extra in the French film, Imuhar: A Legend, before settling into a career as a professional musician. A Spanish documentary film crew helped him record his debut album. In ‘06, during a trip to California with the band Tidawt, Bombino recorded “Hey Negrita” with the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards and Charlie Watts; the track appears on Stone’s World: The Rolling Stones Project Volume 2. The same year, Bombino worked as a guide for Angelina Joli when she visited the Niger desert.

Bombino has already achieved stardom among the Tuareg community; now he’s out to win over the world. His tour brings him to The Grey Eagle on Thursday, May 3. 9 p.m., $12 in advance or $15 day or show.

Watch a video from a 2010 concert Bombino played at the Mosque of Agadez, which had long been cut off from the world.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts writer and editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs.

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