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HOME | MULTIMEDIA / PRESS | press releases | April 18, 2009

Press Release: April 18, 2009

AFRICAN MUSIC GROUP TINARIWEN SINGS TO SAVE LIVES, INVITES AMMAN IMMAN TO UPCOMING SHOW

New York (April 18, 2009) — Tinariwen, a band as famous for its music, as it is for the nomadic, guitar-toting desert tribesmen who make that music, will strengthen its call for development in Niger’s Azawak Valley by inviting a representative from Amman Imman to join the group at its upcoming concert at Le Possion Rouge in New York City.

While Tinariwen sings songs of exile, struggle, division and a warrior past, Julie Snorek, Amman Imman’s outreach coordinator, will the tell the story of the more than 500,000 people living in the Azawak region who are dying of thirst.

Amman Imman seeks to save the lives of those struggling by bringing them the water wells they so desperately need. The project has built one borehole well to serve the needs of 25,000 people, and plans to build another in the coming months.

"This partnership merges music with a message about freedom and oppression,” said Ariane Kirtley, Director and Founder of Amman Imman. “In order for oppressed people to have freedom, they first need to have their most basic need of access to water met.”

The likely partners found each other through a common name and a common cause - Tinariwen entitled its most recent album “Aman Iman,” – or “water is the soul.”

“We chose the title because it expressed something that was universal, and incontrovertible, said Andy Morgan, Tinariwen’s manager. “It's a message that the world ought to understand, but often doesn't. In the desert, without water, life is impossible.”

In line with the grassroots project, the band has a humanitarian arm called Taghreft Tinariwen, which, among other things, exists to further cultural, educational and water development, in the region. The association holds an annual music festival, has built a cultural center, conducts trainings in music production and IT, and builds schools for nomad children.

The members of Tinariwen see themselves as cultural ambassadors, and, like Amman Imman, want to focus the world’s attention on the cultural and developmental needs of Touareg nomads like themselves. Largely abandoned by the Nigerien government, nomads living in the Azawak have little access to schools, roads, health centers, and, most importantly, virtually no access to water.

Tinariwen has become a desert legend. With three successful albums released, tours of Europe, the United States and the Far East and appearances at a BBC Award for World Music, Tinariwen emerged as one of the most exciting and successful bands from Africa in recent times.

The upcoming show will be held at Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, New York, NY, Friday, April 24. Doors open at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets, please visit http://lepoissonrouge.inticketing.com/evinfo.php?eventid=31514.

Photos taken by Ariane Kirtley, Amman Imman’s director, will be for sale at the concert. All proceeds from sales will benefit Amman Imman.

Contact: Julie Snorek, Outreach Coordinator, juliesnorek@gmail.com, 269/228-0459

For more information about Amman Imman, please visit http://www.waterishope.org.
To read about student efforts to help, visit: http://montessori-amman-imman-project.blogspot.com/.

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