World Music Institute
February 23, 2018 @ 8:00 pm
World Music Institute continues its Counterpoint series with Tal National.
WMI’s Counterpoint series showcases contemporary artists who push the boundaries of what world music can mean as the divisions between cultures become less prominent in the 21st century.
When & where
Friday February 23, 2018 @ 8pm
Littlefield, 635 Sackett Street, Brooklyn
Tickets $30 advance / $35 day of show
By the time Tal National reached international acclaim with 2013’s Kaani, the band’s first release outside of Niger, they had spent more than a decade crisscrossing Niger, usually on dirt pathways through the Sahara, playing epic five-hour sets, seven days a week, selling their CDs on street corners. In the process, they became Niger’s most popular band. Audiences in the West and critics quickly embraced the band’s singular and well-honed sound.
Their second album Zoy Zoy is a distillation of Tal National’s traditional roots and tireless drive into pure joy and celebration. The songs are intense yet sophisticated, combining original numbers with new arrangements of West African folk songs. The band speaks French, but use the American term “very rock and roll” quite seriously, implying their awareness that the loud guitars and bewildering rhythmic complexity separate them from their West African peers.
Niger has no proper recording studios, music instrument shops, or record stores and the drummer makes his own sticks. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Tal National thrives in a country parched of resources but teeming with music and rhythm.