Raised in the village of Tchintabaraden in rural Niger, Mdou Moctar learned to play music on a guitar he made himself. It had five strings because the plank of wood he used for the fretboard was too narrow to hold six.
Moctar comes from a conservative Islamic family that forbade playing music, so he practiced in secret. Although he had no formal instruction and played traditional Taureg music far removed from the world of Western rock music, Moctar has become an international phenomenon.
His mesmerizing style incorporates touchstones of Tuareg music, but he’s just as comfortable shredding electric solos as he is playing traditional acoustic desert blues. His latest album, “Ilana: The Creator,” is his first with a full band, and the backup instrumentals flesh out his licks.
Fuller moved to New Orleans in 2010 and has composed music for local chamber ensembles, theater companies and the Marigny Opera Ballet.
Moctar performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in spring, and his stunning chops matched some of the best guitar players in the world.
Boogarins opens at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, at One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., (504) 569-8361; www.oneeyedjacks.net. Tickets $15.