Palestinian pianist Faraj Suleiman
From Palestine to the world stage
Pianist Faraj Suleiman has developed a style all his own, rich in ornamentation and with a powerful rock energy. At an unimaginably difficult time this Palestinian musician, who lives in Israel, has released a new album: "As Much As It Takes"
Aga Khan Master Musicians' "Nowruz"
Sunshine, peace and the smell of home
While intent is always important, it is no guarantee of artistic merit. "Nowruz", the Aga Khan Master Musicians' debut album, is an example of both in perfect synthesis. Richard Marcus had a listen
Musical "Romances" between Muslims and Christians
On 19 August, the Accademia del Piacere ensemble from Seville will celebrate the marriage of Muslim and Christian musical culture in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries at the Cologne Philharmonic. Tunisian singer Ghalia Benali will join the musicians on stage as their special guest. By Stefan Franzen
Music: Universal Echoes by Kuné
An impactful message from Canada's Global Orchestra
The musicians in the Canadian music ensemble Kuné come from a diverse array of traditions and cultures. On their new album, they share their concern for our planet's future in a collection of glorious tracks. By Richard Marcus
Music of the Nile
The Nile Project was a multinational music collective inspired by a river. It sang songs in a variety of styles and languages about life along and with the Nile. Like many projects in the region, it failed because of politics. By Katharina Wilhelm Otieno
Morgenland Festival Osnabruck
Countering patriarchal cliches
Focusing on music from the Levant to Central Asia, Osnabruck's Morgenland Festival occupies a special place in the German festival landscape. Prior to the 18th festival, which begins on 21 June, Stefan Franzen spoke to festival manager Michael Dreyer about the musical concept, the political dimension, and whether the term 'Morgenland' [engl. 'the East', 'Orient'] is still in keeping with the times
Breathing new life into Tunisia's bagpipes
At his workshop in Tunisia's capital, Khaled ben Khemis pieces together a type of bagpipe once banned from the airwaves, but now embraced by artists infusing its sound into new musical styles.
Romani-Syrian band Taraf Syriana
The idea that Romani musicians have anything in common with their counterparts from Syria may seem far-fetched. Yet, listening to Taraf Syriana's debut album, it seems natural the two musical worlds blend effortlessly together. By Richard Marcus
Masaa's Rabih Lahoud in interview
"Arabic needs artistic support"
Three German jazz musicians and a German-Lebanese poet and singer: this is what gives Masaa its unique sound. In conversation with Stefan Franzen, vocalist Rabih Lahoud reflects on settling in Germany, his relationship with a changing Arabic language and music categorisations
Berlin Museum of Islamic Art
"Islamic Art” goes digital
The Berlin Museum of Islamic Art’s new online portal is the first digital platform in the German-speaking world to present Islamic cultures in an innovative and entertaining way. By Ceyda Nurtsch
West Bank's last vinyl repairman
Vinyl lover preserves musical heritage
From Jamal Hemmou's ramshackle workshop in Nablus's Old City in the occupied West Bank, classic Arabic songs blare into the surrounding cobbled streets. For how much longer remains to be seen – neither of his sons is interested in taking over the business
Al Qasar’s "Who Are We"
A hard message for a hard world
Welcome to the world of Al Qasar, where Arabic music collides head-on with punk and psychedelic to create something powerful and beautiful. "Who Are We" is a raucous, subversive trip into the urban landscapes inhabited by a new generation of Arabs around the world. By Richard Marcus