Niger ensemble The Endless Journey have announced a UK summer tour from 21 June to 29 July. The band is an amalgamation of four musicians from two of Niger's most celebrated ensembles: Mamane Barka and Etran Finatawa (both groups have released albums on World Music Network labels). The exact dates and venues of the tour are yet to be announced.
Having successfully brought the music of their nomadic tribes onto a world stage, The Endless Journey would like adopt a new role as cultural activists. As a result, The Endless Journey collaboration celebrates a newly-made film discussing Niger's political and social issues through their music. The film was shot by internationally acclaimed photographer and film-maker Jean Molitor. It is highly significant in the upcoming tour as the full performance incorporates specially mixed visuals projected behind the performers in order to create a powerful and emotive live experience.
Additionally, in partnership with WOMAD Foundation they will be producing a Creative Learning Experience for schools led by the musicians of The Endless Journey. The film, accompanied by a resource pack and the musical performance itself, offers schools a totally unique cross-curricular learning experience.
Tuareg singer, guitarist and songwriter Alhousseini Anivolla and Wodaabe singer and percussionist Bammo Agonla have toured Europe, Canada, America and Australia with the internationally acclaimed group Etran Finatawa. Incidentally, Alhousseini Anivolla has a forthcoming debut album with World Music Network on Riverboat Records. Mamane Barka is a charismatic musician and ethnomusicologist who is widely known in Niger as a virtuoso nguruni (African lute) player. Oumarou Adamou, the son of a Hausa Griot, is a famed percussionist and lifelong friend of Barka. Together, the four musicians' swirling strings, driving rhythms and haunting vocals evoke the vast open spaces of the desert and the very soul of nomadic life.
The powerful combination of these world-class artists together with the touring film and photo exhibition is sure to resonate musical meaning both on and off the stage.