In the late 1970s Tinariwen’s founder, Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, built his first guitar from a tin can, stick, and bicycle brake wire. Tinariwen translates from the native Tamashek to “The Desert Boys”: they are Tuaregs, displaced descendants of a nomadic Berber tribe who wandered the Sahara. The multi-generational group formed in 1980’s Tuareg camps in Libya, shaped by American blues and Jimi Hendrix as well as West African traditional music. Their “desert blues” earned a Grammy in 2011, and their ninth album Amatssou, produced by Daniel Lanois, came out last year.

Country: Mali