The members of Ensemble Tartit—all cousins, members of an ethnic minority known as Tuaregs—fled a 1994 Malian army effort to exterminate their people. They ended up in a refugee camp in Burkina Faso, where an aid worker heard them vocalizing and encouraged them to perform. They did so formally for the first time at a festival in Belgium, where the cousins had linked up with another relative. After a change in political climate that allowed the refugees’ return to northern Mali, Tartit recorded its only internationally released disc, Ichichila. The album offers traditional songs reflecting the ensemble’s heritage (which for some is still a lifestyle) as camel-riding nomadic goat- and sheep-herders in the Sahara and Sahel desert regions, as well as self-composed cuts about such subjects as life in exile. Comparable to pre-World War II blues field singing, Tartit’s music features nasal-sounding chanting—mostly by women—accompanied by a backdrop of hand-clapping, goatskin-drum percussion, and the sounds of a one-string gourd-fiddle and a three-stringed lute. It’s not easy listening, and sometimes the rough, ululating vocals and largely unadorned accompaniment prove a tad wearying in their repetitiveness, but the finest moments are at once as mesmerizing as a mirage and as real and raw as a sandstorm. See for yourself at 6 p.m. Monday, April 7, at the Millennium Stage in the Kennedy Center’s Grand Foyer. Free. (202) 467-4600. (Steve Kiviat)