Alsarah & The Nubatones
Alsarah & the Nubatones were born out of many dinner conversations between alsarah and rami el aasser about nubian ‘songs of return’, modern migration patterns and the cultural exchanges between sudan and egypt. A common love for the richness of pentatonic sounds, and shared migration experiences, expanded the conversation to include armenian – american oud player haig manouki- an and french born togo raised bass player mawuena kodjovi. Under the leadership of alsarah, the brooklyn based group’s sound grew into what they have dubbed as ‘east – african retro-pop’.
In march of 2014 the group released their debut album “silt / طمي “ via wonderwheel recordings to in- ternational acclaim and great reviews, with the single soukura (it’s late) debuting on spin magazine’s blog. October of the same year saw the release of “silt remixed” featuring remixes by bodhisattva, nickodemus, captain planet, chancha via circuito, and many others. It also went on to be selected by the prestigious fact magazine as one of the best remix albums of 2014.
Unfortunately that year also marked the passing of founding member haig manoukian from this world into the next. Taking his place is the brilliant oudist, and former student of hiag, brandon terzic. In addition we have also grown to include the charismatic and talented vocalist nahid as a full time member of the band now.
Since their first show in october of 2011, the group has performed nationally and internationally at many prestigious festivals and venues. With aduiences varying in age and ethnicity, the nubatones has proven over and over that soul crosses all cultural and linguistic barriers.
Colors of world culture on the canvas of African rhythms..
Sahel's multilingual lead vocalists and creator, Jean-Francis Varre, firmly believes that the African Diaspora is closely linked through its shared rhythms and melodic styles. In addition, because this heritage is commonly tied to the English, Spanish, French and Portuguese languages, he uses the music of the African Diaspora to form cultural bridges around the world. A self taught multi instrumentalist, Jean-Francis has toured with British soul icon Omar and Grammy nominated salsa orchestra Gonzalo Grau y la Clave Secreta and a variety of projects in the US, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.
Jean-Francis is joined by drummer Malick 'Papa' Diouf, bassist Stewart Bernard, vocalist (and sister) Aline Varre, percussionists Malari Moore and Jabari Exum, and guitarist Dokun Oke to form a multicultural musical team worthy of the name Sahel. The unit has built a reputation of keeping audiences dancing while seamlessly varying styles and jumping from one culture to the next.
Sahel, like the legendary land that is its namesake, is a crossroad of musical genres influenced by African culture around the globe; inspired by tradition and dedicated to the progress of music that moves the world.