Mohand Alileche, known as Moh in the United States of America, was born in Kabylia, a mountainous region of Algeria, in 1959. At that time the Algerian war of independence against France was still being fought. The colonial government executed Alileche’s father so he grew up as an orphan.
The first instrument that Moh used was a homemade lute with one string. He later learned how to play the Spanish guitar. He is now a leading performer on the mandola, a 10-silk stringed musical instrument of North African origin. Moh plays traditional folk music of Kabylia, and his lyrics present his social commentary on the plight of the Amazigh (Berber) culture of North Africa. Moh’s songs are written and sung in Kabyl.
In 1990, Moh Alileche moved to the United States of America, settling in the West Coast. Since then he has been a regular at world music festivals, promoting Kabyl culture. Two percussionists normally accompany him, Henni Hached on darbuka and Sadek Haddadou on bendir.