Dubbed by Alsarah as “east African retro pop,” Alsarah & The Nubatones blend 1960s and 70s Ethiopian music with Arabic and North African influences to create a sound with soaring vocal melodies, eastern instruments, and pentatonic arrangements. A Sudanese born singer, songwriter and ethnomusicologist, Alsarah understands being an immigrant: her family moved to Yemen to escape a stifling Sudanese regime before relocating to Brooklyn when civil war escalated in Yemen during the 1990s. Alsarah & The Nubatones’ work draws on Nubian “Songs of Return” that portray the dream of returning home and a nostalgic longing for a place that no longer exists. That rich feeling is propelled by Alsarah’s vocals accompanied by a strong groove grounded in East African acoustic instrumentation provided by the Nubatones, including including percussionist Rami El Aasser, master oud player Haig Manoukian, and bass player Mawuena Kodjovi.
Saturday, September 17: Lotus Saturday Evening Showcase
Click for full schedule details. Schedule subject to change.
Presented in partnership with the IU Center for the Study of the Middle East and the IU African Studies Program.