Alsarah and the Nubatones
Thursday, June 21 @ 8:30pm
The ancient sounds of the Nile River Valley meet with fresh ideas when the young Brooklyn-based, Arabic language songstress Alsarah and her band the Nubatones mesmerize listeners with what they call “East African Retro Pop.” Together with oud, tabla, bass, and keys, songs from their internationally celebrated albums Silt and Manara harken back to what could be heard in many Sudanese and East African living rooms in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Their approach was born of many dinner conversations between Alsarah, an ethnomusicologist born in Sudan and raised in Yemen, and percussionist Rami El Aasser about Nubian “Songs of Return,” shared migration experiences, and the cultural exchanges between Sudan and Egypt. A common love for the richness of pentatonic sounds, textural compositions, and artists like Hamza El Din and Abd El Gadir Salim expanded the conversation and gave definition to a music of movement, appealing across all linguistic and cultural borders, lively with pulsing beats, and as bright and varied as its members. Since their first show in 2011, the group has been featured on NPR’s 5 Must Hear International Albums 2013 and has played WOMAD UK, Celebrate Brooklyn, The Kennedy Center, Glastonbury, Roskilde, and Summerstage NYC. They have toured Hungary, Portugal, France, UAE, Morocco, Egypt, Sweden, and Lithuania. This is definitely a must-see performance at TOP this season!