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The Nile Project brought Africa's diverse music to London

THE NILE Project received its London premiere as part of the Barbican’s contemporary music programming on Sunday (Jun 19), which saw an exciting line-up of musicians from seven Central, North and East African countries play to an enthusiastic crowd at the sold-out Islington Assembly Hall.

Bringing together artists from all of the Nile countries, the project was brought to life in 2013, showcasing their diverse musical traditions and instruments while demonstrating the creative potential of transboundary collaborations and to further musical exchange and dialogue and to raise awareness of the region’s delicate ecosystem.

On Sunday London audiences were treated to an uplifting, feel-good performance, featuring a varied cross-section of musical styles brought on by a 13-strong band which included: Egyptian vocalist Saleeb Fawzy, Egyptian flautist Nader El Shaer, Kenyan vocalist and percussionist Kasiva Mutua, Egyptian percussionist and vocalist Adel Mekha, Eritrean bassist and tambour player Ahmed Omar, drummer Claude Ciza from Burundi, Kenyan guitarist and vocalist Dave Otieno, Ethiopian vocalist Roza Kifle, Tanzanian thumb piano player Msafiri Zawose, Ethiopian masenko player Endalekachew Nigusie, Sundanese vocalist Hind El Taher, Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen and Ethiopean krar player Ibrahim Fanousy.

Since the Nile Project’s inception, varying line-ups of musicians have toured extensively through Africa, the Middle East and the US, attracting over 60,000 people to their concerts to date, and this June they made their UK debut.

The Nile Project’s first album, Aswan, named after the Egyptian city where it was recorded live at the collective’s debut performance, came out in 2013. Their follow-up album Jinja was recorded during the Project’s 2015 US tour and will be released soon.

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