Alsarah & The Nubatones
Alsarah is a singer, songwriter, bandleader and a somewhat reluctant ethnomusicologist. Born in Khartoum, Sudan, she relocated to Yemen with her family before abruptly moving to the USA, finally feeling most at home in Brooklyn, NY where she has been residing since 2004. Working on various projects, she has toured both nationally and internationally.
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 Manoukian 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 audiences varying in age and ethnicity, The Nubatones have proven over and over that soul crosses all cultural and linguistic barriers.