Schedule

Friday, July 26

3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Calgary's Blue Sky City Stage 5

Session

Friday, July 26

7:30 pm – 8:25 pm

National stage 4

Concert

Saturday, July 27

3:20 pm – 4:30 pm

Field Law stage 3

Session

Etran de L’Aïr

Niger

The name Etran de L’Aïr translates to “the Stars of the Aïr,” the high country region of Northern Niger. Part of the Sahel region that bridges the Sahara to the north and the savanna regions to the south, Niger is part of an ancient and mighty crossroads of cultures. Etran are based in Agadez, an urban music Mecca known particularly for the so-called “desert blues” popularized by bands such as Mdou Moctar and Bombino. In the Sahel, bands are hired out to play in weddings, baptisms and political events. Their driving rhythms, smooth melodic electric guitar and wailing lyrics create a trancelike groove; no wonder Etran are the absolute heavy hitters of the Agadez wedding circuit.

Etran is not just a working band; it’s also a family collective founded in 1995 by Aghaly Migi. Over the years, Migi taught his younger brothers to play, and integrated them into the group. When the band began they had one acoustic guitar, and the rhythm section was a calabash floating in water “hit with a sandal, to make a drum.” Over the years as the family grew so did the band acquiring a drum set, a few electric guitars. Today, all the members are still related, brothers and cousins. Beloved for their dynamic energy, hypnotic solos and effortlessly fluid musicianship, Etran may host the best wedding you won’t attend this weekend.

— Shereen Samuels

Upcoming shows

Friday, July 26

3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Calgary's Blue Sky City Stage 5

Session

Friday, July 26

7:30 pm – 8:25 pm

National stage 4

Concert

Saturday, July 27

3:20 pm – 4:30 pm

Field Law stage 3

Session