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Tinariwen (Tamashek: t-i-nàriw-en "deserts", plural of t-è-nere "desert") is a band of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali, formed in 1979. In the early 2000s Tinariwen started to gain a following outside Africa, first in the world music community, and then among general international audiences, thanks to frequent tours and appearances at major festivals in Europe and the USA.[citation needed]

Tinariwen's biography has variously been described as "the most compelling of any band" (Songlines), "the most rock'n'roll of them all" (The Irish Times), "hard-bitten" (Slate.com), and "dramatic" (The Independent).[citation needed]

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