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Akounak: Purple Rain in the Sahara

  • Starline Social Club Oakland, CA (map)

The MATATU Performance Series continues with 'Akounak: Purple Rain in the Sahara' on Saturday, September 9 at Oakland's Starline Social Club. Mdou Moctar (Niger) and his band perform following a screening of the film in which he stars, 'Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai,' also known as the Tuareg Purple Rain! A director's talk follows with filmmaker Chris Kirkley plus the La Pelanga dance party! 

presented with: Museum of the African DiasporaEast Bay ExpressAmoeba MusicFusicologyLa PelangaSahel SoundsKQED 

Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai
Film 7:30 • Concert 9:30 • Dance Party 11:00
September 9 • Starline Social Club
Tickets Here
In the somewhat crowded scene of Tuareg guitarists, MDOU MOCTAR stands apart from his peers. One of the few original singer/songwriters willing to experiment and push the boundaries of the genre, his unconventional styles have won him accolades both in Niger and abroad.

Mdou Moctar hails from Abalak, in the Azawagh desert of Niger. He taught himself the guitar at a young age on a homemade instrument. Inspired by returning Ishumar (see below *), Mdou traveled the road to Libya where he traveled and worked odd jobs. As chance had, he would meet some of the now famous guitarists and further his musical studies. He returned home with a guitar and a dream.

Rising to the status as local celebrity, in 2008 he traveled to Nigeria to record his first album “Anar” – a psychedelic electronic album of Tuareg guitar, became an instant success throughout the mp3 networks of West Africa. “Tahoultine,” one of the standout tracks, was later featured on the compilation “Music from Saharan Cellphones.”

In 2013, he released his first international album, “Afelan,” rocking and raw sessions recorded live at his hometown in Niger. This was followed by the 2014 vinyl release of “Anar.” In 2015, he starred in the first ever Tuareg language film, a fictional story of the struggle of a guitarist trying to make it against all odds in Agadez. The film continues to be screened at festivals around the world. Presenters may be interested in combining a film screening in conjunction with a performance by the band.
MATATU is a platform for conversation, experience, and expression that helps ordinary people share their journeys. Together, we hope to enhance empathy and understanding of the global human condition. 

We are fiscally sponsored project of Intersection for the Arts, and supported by KQED, East Bay Express, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Learn more about us at
MoAD invites everyone to engage in the cultural expression of the African Diaspora through contemporary art. Visit us at
For nearly a decade, La Pelanga has been building community around a crazy, positive dance floor – cooking up sonic flavors from all over the globe, melting down borders in time and space, whipping up a frenzy of the freshest beats from their own backyard in the Bay, to Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and beyond.

Born out of Cali, Colombia, and based in Oakland, California, La Pelanga mixes music from Nueva York to Port au Prince, Kinshasa to Cartagena, Oakland to Abidjan. They unite the old with the new, the city with the village, the popular with the obscure: cumbia, dancehall, afrobeat, reggaeton, soukous, hip hop, salsa, champeta, kompa, coupé decalé, currulao, and much, much more.

Nadie te quita lo bailado. / Nobody can take away what you’ve danced.

Earlier Event: June 17
Naomi Wachira: Afro-Folk Songwriter
Later Event: October 27
Saul Williams: Lit