Sounds from the desert with this ace Tuareg band

The finest music from the Sahara is set to be one of the highlights of this year's Rye Arts Festival when the fabulous Terakaft play the Milligan Theatre on Saturday September 24.

Monday, 15th August 2016, 12:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:31 pm
Terakaft at Rye Arts Festival in September 2016 SUS-160815-112200001
Terakaft at Rye Arts Festival in September 2016 SUS-160815-112200001

Rye Arts Festival is celebrating its 45th year between September 17 - October 1 and it has built a reputation for introducing world music to the people of East Sussex, with the likes of Kanda Bongo Man from Congo and the London Bulgarian Choir gracing recent events - but never before a Tuareg band from North Western Africa.

Terakaft’s music is based on the traditional music of the nomadic people of the Sahara with the addition of electric guitars and references to outside influences, such as rock n roll, delta blues and reggae, creating Tuareg Blues. So expect traditional handclapping, droning and choppy, twangy guitar licks that define their traditional music with what has been described as rockier sound and angrier tone. With producer Justin Adams at the helm (he plays guitar with Robert Plant who, on first hearing Tuareg Blues 20 years ago said: “I felt this was the music I’d been looking for all my life.”

The Tuareg are a proud nomadic people who have a rich cultural tradition going back hundreds of years. For them the Sahara is simply, home. They do not recognise the post-colonial national boundaries which has seen them living as a minority people in a number of countries in the Sahara. However, a failed attempt to create a Tuareg nation in northern Mali called Azawad and an Islamist insurgency has seen many forced in to exile.

Terakaft’s music is secular and their songs are in their native language Tamashek; the name itself means ‘caravan.’

The gig, which kicks off at 8pm, will be a joyful celebration; for more information and to book tickets online go to or contact the box office on 01797 224442.