by Andrew Frisicano

Tinariwen @ (Le) Poisson Rouge in April (more by Tim Griffin)

Malian band Tinariwen recently won the 2009 Uncut Music Award for best album (given by Uncut Mag) for their record Imidiwan:Companions. The 11 member jury, which included Billy Bragg and Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold, voted the album the "most inspiring and rewarding" of the past 12 months over the seven other entries including Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear and Dirty Projectors. For a better idea of the sizable competition, the shortlist of nominees is below.

Tinariwen, who made a good impression at Coachella and played NYC's LPR both in April, will be coming to North American this February. The trip includes a pair of NYC shows: they return to Highline Ballroom on February 18th and then play a rare Brooklyn show (their first?) at The Bell House on February 19th. Ticket info TBA.

Also coming to the Highline in 2010 will be Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traore for a show on Saturday, April 17th, as part of the World Music Institute Presents: Songs of Mali series. Tickets are on sale. World Music Institute will also bring Nigarian juju legend King Sunny Ade to the Highline Ballroom on April 9th. Tickets are on sale.

For Rokia, the Highline show is somewhat of a makeup show after her Summer 2009 tour was cancelled.

On Friday, March 26th another Music of Mali show will happen with Bassekou Kouyate (who play the ngoni, a West African lute) at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall. That'll be the New York debut of his band and Mali's "first ngoni quartet," Ngoni ba. Tickets are on sale now.

Videos of all four with the Uncut shortlist and all tour dates are below...

King Sunny Ade - Truckee River Park, CA- 2009 -

King Sunny Ade in Calgary, 2009 - Kini ma fi fun ore re

Tinariwen live Zagreb, November 10, 2009.

TINARIWEN - Live in Belfast II October 16th 2009

Rokia Traore Womad-2004

rokia traore @ roskilde 2009

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba at Jools Holland 2007

Bassekou Kouyate - Ngoni Fola

Uncut Music Award - Best Album of the Year shortlist
Animal Collective - 'Merriweather Post Pavilion'
Bob Dylan - 'Together Through Life'
Dirty Projectors - 'Bitte Orca'
Grizzly Bear - 'Veckatimest'
Kings Of Leon - 'Only By The Night'
The Low Anthem - 'Oh My God Charlie Darwin'
Tinariwen - 'Imidiwan: Companions'
Wilco - 'Wilco (The Album)

Tinariwen - 2009/10 Tour Dates
Nov 17 Fabrik Hamburg
Nov 18 Gloria Cologne
Nov 20 Mühle Hunzicken Bern
Feb 15 University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC
Feb 16 Wexner Center Columbus, OH
Feb 18 Highline Ballroom New York, NY
Feb 19 The Bell House Brooklyn, NY
Feb 20 UCLA Los Angeles, CA
Feb 21 San Francisco Jazz Festival San Francisco, CA
Feb 23 Triple Door Seattle, WA
Feb 25 Orpheum Vancouver, BC
Feb 27 Old Town School of Folk Music
Mar 04 The Phoenix Toronto, ON
Mar 05 Club Soda Montreal, QC
Mar 06 Palais Montcalm, QC

King Sunny Ade - 2010 Tour Dates
Tue 04/06/10 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
Thu 04/08/10 Philadelphia, PA World Cafe Live
Fri 04/09/10 New York, NY HighLine Ballroom
Sat 04/10/10 Somerville, MA Somerville Theatre
Sun 04/11/10 Montreal, QC Le National
Tue 04/13/10 Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre
Thu 04/15/10 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall Ballroom
Fri 04/16/10 Chicago, IL Old Town School Of Folk Music
Sun 04/18/10 Lincoln, NE Bourbon Theatre
Thu 04/29/10 Taos, NM Solar Center
Fri 04/30/10 Boulder, CO Boulder Theater
Thu 05/13/10 Tempe, AZ The Musical Instrument Museum Theater

Rokia Traore - 2010 Tour Dates
Apr 10 - Raleigh NC @ Stewart Theatre
Apr 11 - Washington DC
Apr 13/14 - Amherst MA
Apr 15 - Hanover NH @ Spaulding Auditorium
Apr 16 - Boston MA
Apr 17 - NYC NY @ HighLine Ballroom
Apr 18 - Burlington VT
Apr 22/23 - Lafayette LA (tbc)
Apr 24 - New Orleans LA (tbc) or Santiago (Spain)

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