Genres: World
Decades: 1990s 2000s


This singing group from the Sahara Desert region of North Africa was founded in 1995 and first attracted widespread attention in the early 00s. Formed from members of the nomadic Kel Tamasheq, more familiarly known as Tuareg, they were at the time living in a Burkina Faso refugee camp. Made up largely of women, many of whom are blood relations, Tartit’s (whose name means ‘union’) gently insinuating melodic charm brought them enthusiastic audiences when they attended the Festival of Women’s Voices in Belgium in 1995. They also appeared at the third annual Festival in the Desert in Mali in 2003.

Some of Tartit’s songs are sung in a call and response style that carried faint echoes of the work songs of West Africa that eventually found their way into aspects of blues and early jazz. That said, Tartit is firmly in the world music genre and if resemblances must be suggested they are kin to Tinariwen. In performance, Tartit...

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