The bands presented here live wholly or partly in Africa, Asia, Latin America or Eastern Europe. They can generally only be booked for multiple concerts at acceptable rates. It is often possible for tours to be financially supported by a grant from SüdKulturFonds. Let us advise you at an early stage!
Egypt - Arabic Psych Rock
The Egyptian singer and composer Maryam Saleh is not unknown in the Arab world. Her pieces are personal, sometimes philosophical and very often political. Her music is characterized by a combination of intelligent lyrics with a powerful and raw voice carried by trip hop and psychedelic rock sounds.
Rap artist from Mali
Combine the keywords “woman, rap and Mali” and you will inevitably come up the artist Ami Yéréwolo. Runner up of the RFI 2018 Prize, Ami is currently enjoying great success in Mali and in the regions of Senegal, Burkina Faso and Niger. She is a UFO in an exclusively male world where women are still only employed today as backing singers. She is living an astonishing trajectory, spontaneous and far from the clichés made in the USA. She even confesses that she’d hardly ever heard of rap before she was told one day as a teenager that this is what she was doing. She is the only Malian to have produced her own albums and solo tours.
Trance - Electro Touareg
Leila Gobi (voc/ g), Khalil M. Touré (g), Amadou Debélé (b), Abdourhamane Salaha (perc), Matthieu Clara (machine/ perc)
Together with her band, Leila Gobi – originally from the remote provincial town of Menaka in Sahel, Mali – lends the traditional Tuareg trance a contemporary electro dimension. While she remains true to the music from the desert and the languages Songhai and Tamaschek, her incisive singing prevails in a hypnotic sound universe of beats and electric guitars.
Golan Heights - Mountain Roots Rock
Hasan Nakhleh (voc, git), Rami Nakhleh (dr/elec), Amr Mdah (sax)
The band Tootard comes from the occupied Golan Heights. Its inhabitants are considered stateless and have an identity document called «Laissez Passer». The title track of the album is about the absurdity of this situation and has received worldwide praise. The band calls their danceable and eclectic music «Mountain Roots Rock», in which influences of Tuareg music and Caribbean rhythms can be heard alongside classical elements of the Levante region. Hasan Nakhleh, the head of the band, has lived and produced in Bern for four years.
Burkina Faso - Rock Mossi
Jacob Salem left his village in Burkina Faso to find happiness as a rock musician in Ouagadougou. In 2013 he met the Swiss guitarist André «Somkieta» Courbat, who rode his motorbike through Burkina Faso and was looking for local musicians. A fruitful collaboration began, which resulted in «Nanluli», their first album. Traditional rhythms from Jacob‘s region, the singer‘s rock attitude, the influences of Courbat and his Swiss band form a style that is often referred to as «Rock Mossi».
Egypt - Afro-Egyptian
There probably is no suitable genre name for Hawidro’s music. The name of the band means “return” in Nubian, and the band describes its music as Afro-Egyptian. Discovered by Almoharek, an independent agency based in Cairo, Hawidro is a modern, musical recollection of Egyptian culture’s African heritage.
Egypt - Alternative
Lekhfa is the name of a collaboration project between important figures of the alternative Arab music scene. Maryam Saleh on vocals and guitar, the Palestinian songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist Tamer Abu Ghazaleh and the renowned electronics musician and composer Maurice Louca make up the core of the group.
Alternative Hip Hop from Durban
Originally from Durban, Robin Thirdfloor has been brewing for some time on the net and on the sound waves of South Africa and beyond. His pulsating musical layers have given birth to a unique sound of which he alone has the recipe. With his latest EP, ‘Bhotela’, released a few months ago, he surfs the rap style of the rainbow nation and emerges brilliantly, creating a music made of rhythms and rhymes hammered out in a seamless flow (both in English and Zulu). Combining several genres, Kwaito (Soweto House music), hip-hop and gqom (Durban House music), his music depicts the popular and underground culture of Durban.
Samba Diabaté (git, ngoni), Vincent Zanetti (kora, git, perc)
Kala Jula is a project set between Monthey in Valais and Bamako in Mali. Vincent Zanetti and Samba Diabaté both play guitar and produce a very refined sound that not only delights guitarists. Their pieces are characterised by the kind of guitar playing practised by the Mandinke musicians of West Africa.
Senegal/Switzerland - Mandingo-Pop
Tarang Cissokho (kora), Glauco Cataldo (voc, git), Fabio Meier (perc)
The young trio Siselabonga consists of guitarist/vocalist Glauco Cataldo and percussionist Fabio Meier (both from Switzerland) and the kora player Tarang Cissokho, who lives in Dakar. In their debut album “Binte”, they combine Mandingo tradition in a playful and melodious way with pop music in a singer-songwriter style.
Ethio jazz punk
Jeroen Visser (keys, sax), Mesele Amamaw (krar/voc), Endris Hassen (masinqo), Christian Weber (bass), Fabien Duscombs (dr)
Trio Kazanchis breaks down style boundaries. A logical consequence when singer and krar player Mesele Asmamaw from Ethiopia meets ex-punk Jeroen Visser (keyboards and saxophone) who lives in Zurich, and French drummer Fabien Duscombs. The musicians met in Addis Ababa. Some years ago, the masenqo player Endris Hassen and bass player Christian Weber also joined the band. The trio then became Kazanchis +2.
Taylan Arikan (baglama), Srdjan Vukasinovic (acc)
Meduoteran is a duo that concentrates on the expressiveness of the two instruments, eliciting sounds from the baglama (Anatolian lute) and accordion that one would hardly expect. Those who experience the two musicians on stage will be captivated by their virtuosity, their instinct for contemporary interpretation of traditional melodies and their joy of playing. They also perform in a trio or quartet.