The Nile Project
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The Nile Project

Minkler, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Minkler, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band World Acoustic

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Music

Press


Simon Broughton visits the Nile Project in Aswan, Egypt, a multi-disciplinary gathering featuring musicians from different cultures along the river - 2 episodes - BBC Radio 3 - World Routes


PDF available at above link - Songlines


Video available at above link. Music starts at 2 min in. - El-Bernameg


Egyptian musicologist Mina Girgis and Ethiopian-American singer Meklit Hadero were so inspired by Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project that they decided to create their own, localized version of cultural confabulation — to use music and culture to help sustain the ecosystem along the 4300-mile Nile River. They invited 18 musicians from across the Nile basin region — Egypt, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan — to meet for the first time, teach each other some songs, and then hit the road as The Nile Project.

This kind of endeavor could veer quickly into quinoa territory — smugly virtuous and earnest — but instead the results are joyous and even raucous. For instance, just listen to the song "Salaam Nubia," led by the young singer-songwriter Alsarah, who moved from her hometown of Khartoum, Sudan to Brooklyn (by way of Yemen and Wesleyan University). Recorded, like the rest of this album, at the group's very first live performance (in the Egyptian city of Aswan), you can hear just how much fun the crowd is having — and how tight the band is, even as their instrumental multitudes adeptly combine everything from indigenous instruments like the Ugandan adungu lyre to saxophone and bass guitar. - NPR


Discography

The Nile Project - Aswan
Release Date : October 1, 2013

Photos

Bio

The vast region along the Nile River is home to diverse yet interrelated musical traditions from 11 countries, which have been underrepresented in Western world music touring circuits. The Nile Project's original, collaboratively composed songs weave the deep grooves of Ethiopia with the Arab classical traditions of Egypt and Sudan, and the rarely heard rhythms and melodies of Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda with today's musical heritage alive in Kenya.

A powerful pan-Nile percussion section drives the collective, which reunites traditional instruments of common ancestry and merges new ones. The lyre and spike fiddle have been at the heart of the Nile's musical identity since ancient times, and versions of both instruments are still found in every country in the region. The Nile Project features several of them, along with complementary sounds from their respective traditions, and vocalists singing in over ten different languages. This is a stage performance that captures a new sound with origins as old as the river's folklore, representing the rainbow of Nile Basin cultures.

Egyptian ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis and Ethiopian-American singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero founded the Nile Project in 2011 in response to the region's environmental and cultural challenges. The Nile runs through the political boundaries of 11 countries and touches the lives of over 400 million people. Despite ancient connections among East African civilizations, leaders in the region are struggling to share the river's vast resources. Intensifying pressures of population growth, climate change, and environmental degradation are exacerbating an already charged situation. The well-publicized tensions over the proposed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam are only the most recent manifestation of tensions that have been mounting for decades. Given the current state of affairs, political solutions are a long way off. Effectively tackling the volatile questions around environmental, economic, and cultural sustainability requires a foundation of trust and communication among Nile Citizens.

The Nile Project offers an innovative model for cross-cultural dialogue and cooperation, with programs that inform, empower, and activate an international network of Nile Citizens to collectively cultivate the sustainability of their shared ecosystem. With its power to promote dialogue, change perceptions, and inspire action, music is the Project's natural starting place.  Based on principles of participatory leadership and biomimicry, the collective's music is a model for the Project's approach to conflict transformation. The musical conversations that take place on stage help audiences understand the artists' deep cultural connections and common history, providing a safe space to learn about each other and create a shared Nile identity. Building on this awareness, the Project is developing educational programs, an online dialogue platform, and a Nile Prize to incubate grassroots solutions to the region's most pressing issues.

 Collective Members:

  • Adel Mekha / Egypt / percussion, vocals
  • Ahmed Omar / Egypt & Eritrea / bass guitar
  • Ahmed Said Abuamna / Sudan / masenkop, vocals
  • Alfred Gamil / Egypt / violin
  • Alsarah / Sudan & US / vocals, lyricist
  • Asrat Ayalew / Ethiopia / kebero 
  • Dafaalla El Hag / Sudan/ oud, percussion, banimbo, zombara 
  • Dawit Seyoum / Ethiopia / bass krar, krar
  • Dina el Wedidi / Egypt / vocals, lyricist
  • Endris Hassen / Ethiopia / masenko
  • Hany Bedair / Egypt / percussion 
  • Hazem Shahin / Egypt / oud 
  • Jorga Mesfin / Ethiopia / saxophone
  • Kasiva Mutua / Kenya/ percussion, lyricist 
  • Lawrence Okello / Uganda / percussion, adungu, amadinda 
  • Meklit Hadero / US & Ethiopia / vocals
  • Mekuanent Melese / Ethiopia / dance, vocals
  • Mohamed Fouda / Egypt / ney 
  • Michael Bazibu / Uganda / endongo, adungu, endingidi, percussion
  • Mohsen El Ashry / Egypt / simsimiya
  • Nader El Shaer / Egypt/ kawala, ney
  • Nyaruach Jal / South Sudan / vocals 
  • Selamnesh Zemene / Ethiopia / vocals 
  • Sophie Nzayisenga / Rwanda / inanga, vocals 
  • Steven Sogo / Burundi / ikembe, guitar, bass, vocals