Les Filles de Illighadad



As the name suggests, Les Filles de Illighadad (daughters of Illighadad) hail from the small, secluded village in central Niger. Only accessible via a grueling drive through the open desert, there is little infrastructure and no electricity or running water. But what the nomadic zone lacks in material wealth it makes up for deep and strong identity and tradition.

In 2016, the first female Tuareg guitarist, Fatou Seidi Ghal joined forces with renowned vocalist Alamnou Akrouni – and so began Les Filles de Illighadad. In 2017, they were joined by Amaria Hamadalher, a fixture on the Agadez guitar scene, and Abdoulaye Madassane, rhythm guitarist and a son of Illighadad.

Their music draws from two distinct styles of regional sound, ancient village choral chants and desert guitar. The result is a ground-breaking new direction for Tuareg folk music and a sound that resonates far beyond their village.

At the heart of the music is the percussion and poetry of ‘Tende’ – a term used for both the instrument and the type of music – whereby a mortar and pestle are transformed into a drum, and women join together in a circle, in a chorus of singing, chanting, and clapping. Sometimes for celebration, sometimes to heal the sick, sometimes it’s poetry of love, and always a space where the wall between performer and spectator disintegrates.

We are delighted to welcome this incredible band to Belfast. It will be transformative; it will be special.


“revolutionizing (of) traditional Tuareg music”
She Shreds
“Mesmerizing sounds from the Sahara”
The New York Times
“If you listen long enough, and make yourself open enough, it is possible to reach a kind of holy place while experiencing the music of the Tuareg quartet.”
The New Yorker
“Fatou Seidi Ghali once had to practise on her brother’s guitar in secret. She and her band, Les Filles de Illighadad, are now taking the world by storm”
The Guardian