World Music Festival Brings Sudanese Musicians ALSARAH & THE NUBATONES -Preview, September 28 - 9p.m. and 29 - 7p.m
Saturday, September 28, 9 PM
Concord Music Hall
2047 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Sunday, September 29, 7 p.m.
600 E. Grand Ave.
Sudanese Musicians ALSARAH & THE NUBATONES, now Brooklyn-based, performed in Chicago years ago when their group was first formed. They describe themselves as Chicago enthusiasts, excited to be back and also to showcase their new line up and new music. Here Picture this Post (PTP) talks with Alsarah (Als) to learn more about the group and the plans for the festival.
(PTP)Many Chicagoans think of the World Music Festival as a way to see and hear the world without a passport. What would you most like Chicagoans to know and appreciate about your culture and how your music is a part of it?
(AS) First of all there is no substitute for actual travel, so I highly encourage all of you to get your passport and travel. Also I want Chicagoans to know that culture looks different and unique on each person practicing it. So what they are coming to witness is what my culture looks like on me after I moved so many times in my life. They are witnessing what Nubian and Sudani looks like after it goes global. We are a project deeply rooted in our Nubian and Sudani cultural heritage but we are just as rooted in our Brooklyn home. The music we have created is both rooted and original. We are excited to share sounds from our last two albums with everyone, as well as new sounds from our upcoming album.
Please tell our readers about your group—how many musicians? What instruments to they play?
We are a total of 5 people.
Alsarah : Lead Vocals and song writing
Nahid: Keys and backing vocals
Rami El Aasser: Percussion and backing vocals
Brandon Terzic: Oud
Mawuena Kodjovi: Bass, Trumpet, Backing vocals.
How did your group come together? What is the background of each of the performers in your group?
Alsarah & the Nubatones was born out of many dinner conversations between Alsarah and Rami el Sasser about Nubian ‘songs of return’, modern migration patterns and the cultural exchanges between Sudan and Egypt. A common love for the richness of pentatonic sounds, and shared migration experiences, expanded the conversation to include Armenian – American oud player Haig Manouki- an and French born Togo raised bass player Mawuena Kodjovi. Under the leadership of Alsarah, the brooklyn based group’s sound grew into what they have dubbed as ‘east –African retro-pop’.
In March of 2014 the group released our debut album “silt / طمي “ via Wonderwheel recordings. October of the same year saw the release of “silt remixed” featuring remixes by Bodhisattva, Nickodemus, Captain Planet, Chancha via Circuito, and many others.
Unfortunately that year also marked the passing of founding member Haig Manoukian from this world into the next. Taking his place is the brilliant oudist, and former student of Haig, Brandon Terzic. In addition we have also grown to include the charismatic and talented vocalist Nahid as a full time member of the band now.
Since our first show in October of 2011, the group has performed nationally and internationally at many prestigious festivals and venues. We show that soul crosses all cultural and linguistic barriers.
Photos by Nousha Salimi