Live Concert Photography: Imarhan at David Rubinstein Atrium at Lincoln Center 5/3/18

Live Concert Photography: Imarhan at David Rubinstein Atrium at Lincoln Center 5/3/18

Comprised of Iyad Moussa “Sadam” Ben Abderahmane, (who splits time in renowned Taureg act and JOVM mainstays Tinariwen), Tahar Khaldi, Hicham Bouhasse, Abdelkader Ourzig, and Haiballah Akhamouk, the Tamanrasset, Algeria-based quintet Imarhan formed back in 2008, and if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you’d recall that the  members of Imarhan are among a new generation of Tuareg musicians, who haven’t fought in the armed conflicts that have devastated Saharan African over the past 40 years or so. And while they’ve been mentored by the members of Tinariwen, they’ve developed their own reputation across the Taureg world and elsewhere for pairing ancestral Tamashek poetry and the rhythms of the older generations with much more contemporary, global-spanning sounds that reflect their urban upbringings.

With the release of the Algerian quintet’s critically applauded self-titled 2016 debut album, they quickly became an internationally sensation, and as a result they’ve opened for a number of internationally renowned touring acts including Kurt Vile, the aforementioned Tinariwen, Songhoy Blues and Mdou Moctor at venues across the US, the European Union and China. Building upon a growing international reputation,
Imarhan’s sophomore album Temet was released earlier this year, and the Patrick Votan and Eyadou Ag Leche co-produced album derives its name from the Tamashek word for “connections” — and as a result, the album’s material is meant as a urgent wake up call to the listener, reminding us that we are all deeply connected; and that without unity and understanding, we will never be able to solve the world’s most urgent and pressing problems — i.e., environmental destruction, inequality, racism, growing strife and conflict, etc.
Over the past few months, I’ve written about a handful of album singles — the meditative, psych rock-leaning “Azzaman” which thematically focused on the passing of time, the importance of each generation being concerned about leaving the right legacy, and of handing over its heritage and traditions to its successors; the equally hypnotic and propulsive grooves of “Tamudre,” a single that immediately brought to mind Tinariwen’s “Sustanaqqam” and “Adounia Ti Chidjret” but with a loose, bluesy vibe; and “Ehad Wa Dagh,” a disco-friendly take on the desert blues with some incredibly dexterous guitar work. And with those singles, the members of the band have managed to push the desert blues in new directions, while proudly passing their traditions on to the next generation of Tuaregs and others.
Imharan has been on a rather extensive US tour to support Temet and it included a free, career-spanning show at the David Rubinstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. Check out the remaining tour dates below, and then some photos from an incredible live set by young, master musicians that had the crowd grooving and dancing throughout.
Tour Dates
06 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Warhol
07 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean
08 – Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Center

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For these photos and more, check out the Flickr set here: