Amanar de Kidal – Mali

Originally based in Kidal, a town in the heart of the Adrar des Ifoghas mountain range, in the extreme north-east of Mali, the group Amanar has developed its own variant of the desert blues.


  • Ahmed Ag Kaedy on guitar and vocals
  • Lifa Ag Iljimit on percussion
  • Moussa Ag Ahmed on the accompaniment guitar
  • Mahalmadane Traoré on the drums
  • Kalle Enkelmann on bass in Europe and Aziz Cissé in Mali


  • Akaline Kidal – March 2019
  • Orion Congregation 2018
  • Onom Agemo and the Disco Jumpers 2017 (Guest Artist)
  • Agrim Agadez – Musique guitare de la République du Niger 2017 (Guest Artist)
  • Dinamitri Jazz Folklore – ExWide Live 2017 (Guest Artist)
  • Amanar de Kidal – Tumastin 2015
  • Songs for desert refugees Compilation 2012
  • Ishilan n-Ténéré – 2010 (Guest Artist)
  • Alghafiat, 2010


Mali Blues
Directed by Lutz Gregor in 2016


Documentary about Ahmed Ag Kaedy –  Faces of Africa series


Ahmed Ag Kaedy — leader, singer, composer and guitarist of the band Amanar founded in 2005 — is a figurehead for a generation of musicians who feel a responsibility to communicate via conscious lyrics stressing the importance of education and development while respecting local traditions.

Earlier in his life, the struggles between his community and the Malian government forced him to flee to Algeria where he joined Gaddafi’s Libyan Army. This sharp turn in his life was short lived. After quickly realizing that the guitar was a more powerful weapon than a rifle to fight intolerance, he returned to Kidal.

After extremist factions swept over his hometown, suppressing music and threatening to cut his fingers if he ever dared to play the guitar again, Ahmed Ag Kaedy moved to Bamako where he still resides.

Biography (PDF, 778 KB)