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Aga Khan Ensemble

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Aga Khan Ensemble

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The Aga Khan Ensemble presents a rare artistic encounter that both celebrates and reimagines time-honoured musical meetings as the Initiative’s leading artists perform a newly-created repertoire of compositions, improvisations and contemporary arrangements inspired by tradition. This group of music innovators demonstrates the transmission of ancient musical traditions to a talented generation of performers who are developing them in new directions, exemplifying musical creativity that has historically been inspired by the meeting of cultures.

This six-artist line up brings together some of AKMI’s most beloved artists-performers from Afghanistan, China, Italy and Syria- for a performance arranged for a unique combination of instruments which represent the Eastern and Western ends of the historical Silk Route as well as ancient and contemporary musical cultures.

These include the pipa, an instrument introduced to China in ancient times that originated in Central Asia; qanun, a core member of any Arabic taht; Afghan rubab, considered the national instrument of Afghanistan but also used among Kabuli musicians to perform Indian classical music; tabla, the best known Indian percussion instrument; a variety of frame drums, one of the most ubiquitous instruments in the Muslim world; and saxophone, a European invention that has become a universal instrument used by musicians from South India to South Africa to perform myriad forms of traditional, fusion and contemporary music.

Performance Years: 2017

Artists in this Performance:

Artist Name Country of Origin Instruments
Homayoun Sakhi Afghanistan
Salar Nader Afghanistan
Wu Man China
Basel Rajoub Syria
Andrea Piccioni Italy
Feras Charestan Syria
Fodé Lassana Diabaté Mali
Sirojiddin Juraev Tajikistan