Kel Assouf: Attend the touareg band around Anana Harouna from Niger. Ready for the next phase, new member Toulou Kiki - the actress in the award-winning movie Timbuktu - adds the matriarchal tradition from the touaregs to the repertoire, whilst Tunisian producer-musician Sofyann Ben Youssef takes the band to a whole new level, working on a very contemporary sound. The result is touareg desert rock with dragging drums, cutting guitar riffs and tamasheq chants.
47 Soul 'The Gathering': Drawing on their Palestinian roots, 47Soul make music that crosses borders and that is a celebration of movement featuring the bass-heavy dance sounds, virtousic instrumentalism and vocal improvisation and rap.
'Ishq' Book Launch: The Lebanese Syrian poet, writer and teacher Mariam Michtawi will be launching her poetry collection 'Ishq' that has been published in Arabic. Born in Beirut from a Syrian American father and a Lebanese mother, in 2013, she was confronted with the tragic loss of her young child who had been diagnosed with cancer. This separation deeply affected her writings and inspired her to support and fundraise for children with cancer.
Temenik Electric: From the vibrant multi-cultural melting pot of Marseille in France, comes the flamboyant Arabic rock band that straddles both sides of the Mediterranean. Led by singer and main songwriter Mehdi Haddjeri, their sound is quintessentially rooted in the spirit of North Africa with Algerian, gnawa and chaabi influences in their compositions, mixed with Western rock.
The two men, both from Gaza, have been in collaboration for quite some time, as El Saqqa has also organised two previous shows for Joha in the United Kingdom. The last one, held in Durham in 2014, was under the theme of ‘Traces and Revelation’s, where Joha’s work was alongside that of another Gazan artist and friend Hazem Harb. So I spent an hour with the two passionate men, as Joha talked me through the artworks and El Saqqa expressed his hopes for the exhibition.
Iness Mezel: Iness Mezel has perfect credentials for a fusion artist with a French-Italian mother and an Algerian father. Her background includes listening to disco and funk and studying the piano, singing and jazz improvisation. Importantly, she came to the attention of Justin Adams, a fines exponent of African-blues fusion styles, who has produced the set to be performed and provided much of the instrumental work on guitar, banjo and the north African gimbri lute. Mezel wrote all the songs, which are in French and north African berber-amazigh.
Music From Egypt + Sudan (5) - Alsarah + The Nubatones: Presented by MARSM UK, this is part of a new captivating musical showcase in the heart of London to celebrate Egypt's and Sudan’s most vibrant and inspiring artists. A journey from traditional folklore to alternative rock, retro-pop to roots and more.
Music From Egypt + Sudan (3) - The Egyptian Project: Presented by MARSM UK, this is part of a new captivating musical showcase in the heart of London to celebrate Egypt's and Sudan’s most vibrant and inspiring artists. A journey from traditional folklore to alternative rock, retro-pop to roots and more.
47Soul at London Remixed Festival: 47Soul is the electro-mijwez, shamstep and choubi band with its members rooted in Bilad Al-Sham.
EFG London Jazz Festival 2015: The EFG London Jazz Festival is the capital's biggest pan-city music festival, taking place annually in November, which has long been acclaimed for showcasing a heady mix of talent from around the world. Bringing over 2,000 international artists and altogether 300 gigs it takes place across 50 London venues.