Boi Akih

Boi Akih

 Amsterdam, North Holland, NLD

With Circles in a Square Society Boi Akih again shows to be highly professional artists who convince the audience immediately with their songs and improvisations in their very particular style. No matter if they play world, dance, pop or jazz, they are a very convincing live act. Vote for Boi Akih!



Guitarist en composer Niels Brouwer and vocalist Monica Akihary are the core of Boi Akih, which began in 1996. The duo has developed a distinctive repertoire for the ensemble, one in which cultural roots - musical traditions from the Moluccas, Sunda and Bali, Dutch (European) jazz and improvised music, classical Indian music and traditional African music - form the basis for composition, free improvisation and text. Boi Akih has grown into an ensemble with a striking sound and its very own unmistakable musical idiom.
The search for its ‘own’ roots has led to Boi Akih’s unique sound. Sound exploration, compositional forms, improvisation and performance have been essential facets from the very beginning. The development of Monica Akihary’s and Niels Brouwer’s distinctive vocal and guitar styles have given sounds and elements from various musical traditions a new meaning within the national an international music world. The French press, reviewing the CD Uwa I,
wrote, ‘ The combination of European, Indian and Indonesian cultures on the one hand with jazz on the other, gives Boi Akih a sound and colour unique in the current musical
landscape.’ The German press is also full of praise for the innovations: ‘four musical world views that groove convincingly, but also a new concept of cultural symbiosis through improvisation.’ No surprise then that in France Uwa I was chosen as the year’s best world jazz CD.


In 1998 the linguistic community hailed Brouwers and Akihary’s texts as a phenomenon. While Boi Akih’s music subtly refers to Moluccan roots, it is above all through language that Akihary honours her heritage. She writes and sings in her father’s native language, regarded as moribund by the scientific world. Since 1998 Brouwer and Akihary have been working with Dutch and Australian linguists who study Haruku. With their help and support, Boi Akih not
only keeps the tradition alive, but also employs the language in its most authentic form, poetic self-expression


‘Boi Aikhy is a very convincing live act. Tabla player Sandip Bhattacharya, vocalist Monica Akihary and guitarist Niels Brouwer bring to life the intimacy of the songs. It was the gripping and fresh musical interaction, with Akihary singing partly in Haruku, the acoustic sounds, melodies and rhythm that Niels Brouwer created and the tabla’s that enraptured us.’ (Jazzthetik 10 D)

'duo 'Boi Akih' created a magic hour with pure acoustic music based on a fascinating tapestry of folk music, contemporary sounds and improvisation. Through a movingly pure musical journey we experienced all the essential elements of being human. The Boi Akih duo is world-class and an artistic antidote to the din with which we are surrounded in the world of today.' (Jazznytt 09 N)

The trio of vocalist Monica Akihary, guitarist Niels Brouwer and Indian percussionist Sandip Bhattcharya—otherwise known as Boi Akih—has been playing together since
2004, and the deep empathy between the three was apparent in a thrilling performance, where the rhythms of India fused with Akihary's Haruku language of the Moluccan
islands of Indonesia and some breathless improvisation from all three.
(All About Jazz 2010)

Boi Akih gave an earthy concert, alive and vibrating, complex and calming. You feel that the artists bring out the best in each other; it’s tangible, almost material. (DNA 09 F)

'Boi Akih relentlessly enthralled the crowd of hunderds, creating a colorful, emotionally diverse universe.The barefoot Akihary immediatly beguiled the audience. She used her voice as an instrument, smoothly traveling from husky tones to notes of dazzling clarity. Despite the power of Akihary’s vocals, she never overpowered her band mates.
Her voice wrapped around the instruments, flowing some notes and elevating others.
(Jakarta Post 09 RI)

'Fabulous singing and masterly guitar playing in their own universe .'
(De Volkskrant 07)


2011 Boi Akih produced their first single :

2007 Yalelol (ENJ-9487 2 Enja Records 2007)
2005 Lagu Lagu (BROMO 0001 boiakih 2005)
2003 Uwa i (ENJ-9472 2 Enja records 2004)
2000 Above the Clouds, Among the Roots (AL73205 A-Records 2000)
1997 Boi Akih (Invitation Records/ EMI 1997)