Ornamental Guitarist Bombino At Infinity Hall

Special To The Courant

Bombino is the stage name of Goumar Almoctara, a guitarist and singer from Niger. Bombino has lived all over, spending some years in Algeria, Libya and some in Burkina Faso, displaced by political upheaval and ethnic strife in his homeland.

The music that Bombino makes is often lumped into the desert blues category, which draws on Saharan traditions of semi-nomadic peoples like the Tuareg, the ethnic group to which Bombino belongs. But these songs can conjure images of ancient trade routes and vast distances of sand. Bombino, like many in the genre, was steeped in American and British rock, and his flourishes can bring to mind Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix. Fans of Tinariwen should check Bombino out.

Bombino's playing is built up from layers of ornamental touches, creating tension and space with flickering, off-beat accents. Bombino's playing is virtuosic, but not really showy. A committed and exuberant entertainer, he's at home playing at a Tuareg wedding or a European summer festival.

Bombino plays at Infinity Hall, 2 Front St., Hartford, Sunday, Jan. 29, at 7:30 p.m. $19-$39. 866-666-6306 and infinityhall.com.

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