Khaira Arby and her Band
Habana Bar Backyard (708 E 6th St)
Artists: Khaira Arby and her Band
About: KHAIRA ARBY Khaïra Arby bridges the multicultural Mali in the desert blues of her music. The woman’s voice of Mali’s north, Khaira expresses pride in the people and their struggle to survive in her desert homeland. Her soulful music takes the listener across the Sahara to Timbuktu, crossroads of epochs, religions and cultures. With her rocking band, she sings about love, family, women and the toll of war. Khaira’s hot band rips the stage with a smooth blend of traditional instruments and electric guitars. Complex rhythms intertwined with Khaira's clear shout bring the audience to their feet dancing. Born in the Saharan desert village of Abaradjou, Khaira’s parents were from different ethnic backgrounds. You can hear these cultures mix in her music as she sings in several languages, sometimes within the same song. The instrumentation and rhythms are just as varied with electric guitar, bass, calabash, ngoni, traditional violin, and trap drum kit, creating a complex sounds and structure. While her music is rooted in tradition, Khaïra surrounds herself with young musicians influenced by the contemporary world and western music. This is the contemporary desert rock and roll of Mali. After her first marriage ended in divorce, Khaïra was singing with the Orchestre Regional de Tombouctou. It wasn’t long before she was invited to sing with the famous Orchestre Badema in Bamako. She earned her stripes beside such Malian superstars as her cousin, Ali Farka Touré, and the widely influential Fissa Maïga. Since 1990 Khaïra has focused most of her energies on her music. While rooted in tradition, Khaïra surrounds herself with young musicians influenced by the contemporary world and western rock and roll. The listener is taken on a complex audio journey across the desert to the essence of Timbuktu Mali, past and present. Khaïra continues to live in Timbuktu with her family. She performs at private events, concert halls, festivals and clubs throughout Mali. She has appeared with her band at the Festival on the Niger River in Segou and at the mythic Festival in the Desert in Essakane. In 2006 she was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mali.