Fri 26 Nov 2004
Eric Duval: drums
Tarik Ait Hamou: guitar
Rabah Khalfa: percussion
Hachemi Bellali: bass
Gerard Geoffroy: flutes
Lahouari Bennedjadi: keyboards
The name of Algerian singer-composer Idir means' He will live' - it's a term bestowed by mothers fearing for the survival of their babies in his remote home village. But is also parallels his music, which helps to keep alive the Berber traditions. Idir's first hit was 'Avava Inouva' ('The Little Father') in 1973, which has been translated into seventeen languages and acquired an almost hymn-like status. Celtic music might sound a surprising choice to combine with that of North Africa but Idir has found shared roots. In a career spanning for more than thirty years this star anti-star has only ever released four CDs.
'A gentle breeze in a storm of cultural misunderstanding, Idir explores the universal dream by digging out sounds from his essential Berber.' Le Monde.
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Idir, whose real name is Hamid Cheriet was born in Aït Lahcène, a Berber village in Haute-Kabylie.
Despite his low-key image and his shy, self-effacing character, Idir is far and away the most popular singer from Kabylia (Algeria). After scoring the Maghreb world's first international hit - with the ballad A vava Inouva in the early 70s - this committed defender of Berber culture has been quietly following his own road.
Idir, whose concerts regularly bring together several generations of music fans, is a singer who believes in transmitting his message of revolt, hope and tolerance in calm, measured tones. His philosophy is that words spoken in peace and confidence have far more impact than war cries clamoured from the rooftops.