Musical Performance: Alsarah and The Nubatones (Debut) and The Sounds of Taraab

Fri, October 8, 2010 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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With a lilting, crystalline voice that enchants, jarring lyrics and captivating rhythms of her native East Africa, Sudanese-American singer Alsarah returns to Alwan in the debut of The Nubatones in a project covering original material written by Alsarah, followed by Swahili songs of Zanzibar and Kenya with the return of The Sounds of Taraab.

Alsarah and
The Nubatones:

Alsarah -
Karine Fleurima -
backing vocals and keys
Rami El Aasser -
Roc -
Marissa Aricola -

The Sounds of Taraab:

Alsarah -
Ismail Butera -
accordion and vocals
Michael Hess -
violin and nay
Haig Manoukian -
Tiye Gerard -
percussion and vocals
Rami El Aasser -

Tickets: $20, available at the door or online here. (A surcharge applies, use printout as your ticket.)

$15 student and senior tickets available at the door only.
Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

About the Music

Watch/Listen to Alsarah.

Inspired by the pentatonic scale and western soul music, and struck by a collective love for Nubian music, Alsarah and the Nubatones revisit Nubian songs of return, as well as popular songs from northern Sudan and southern Egypt, from the 1970s until today. While linguistically there has been a rapid arabization of that region, its retention of its musical culture has been steadfast.

The Sounds of Taraab endeavor to familiarize audiences with the exciting and profound music amd dance from Africa's Eastern coast. A little over 100 years ago, the Sultan of Zanzibar sent his court musicians abroad to study...They returned, and taraab ws born. This genre, found in the towns of coastal Eastern Africa, is a hybrid of Arabic, Indian, and African styles, with the poignant songs of love and longing sung in the melodious language of Kiswahili. Zanzibar style taraab is basically Egyptian song and modal practice, and the predilection for Arabic instruments. Mombasa style known for its highly syncopated rythmn, with accordion, oud and violin backed up by guitar and modern drum kit. The songs of Dar Es Salaam that may be right out of an Indian movie, and tablas are the popular form of percussion there in that cosmopolitan city. In addition, you may hear varied instruments from anywhere, such as Japanese biwa or Latin American bongos, demonstrating the ecclectic nature of this music.

About Alsarah

Alsarah is a Sudanese born singer, songwriter and ethnomusicologist. Born in the capital city of Khartoum, where she spent the first eight years of her life, she relocated to Taez, Yemen with her family to escape the ever stifling regime in her native country. She abruptly moved to the US in 1994, when a brief civil war broke out in Yemen. Alsarah started her musical training at the age of 12. After attending The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter High School, in Hadley, MA, she spent four years at Wesleyan University studying Music with a concentration in Ethnomusicology. Currently residing in Brooklyn, she performs music from different parts of the Middle East and East Africa, most recently with the ensemble The Sounds of Taraab in classical Taraab music from Zanzibar and Kenya ranging from the 1940s-today. Heavily influenced by different styles of music from her native home to her adopted one she is putting together an album of original material to be released later this year. She recently released her official EP, entitled Soul Sudani.

Last updated: 2010-09-16 21:21:41

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