GRAMMY® Award winning jazz and minimalist music that draws from ancient Urdu poetry meets propulsive Algerian Saharan rhythms in an exciting cross-boundary musical conversation.

Day 1 of Barzakh Festival features Arooj Aftab (Pakistan/US) and Lemma (Algeria).

Arooj Aftab (Pakistan/US)

Semi-classical, Hindustani, minimalist composer, songwriter and singer Arooj Aftab transforms ancient Urdu poetry and ghazals into genre-defying and contemplative compositions. She was recently awarded the GRAMMY® Award for Best Global Music Performance for her song “Mohabbat” and is the first ever Pakistani artist to receive a GRAMMY® Award.

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Lemma (Algeria)

Hailing from the Saoura region, this all-female band presents a symphony of several music genres from the spiritual to the most earthly, and reproduced here with equal merriment. They sing texts borrowed from the mystical odes and supplications from the hadra sessions, as well as passages from some well-known malhûn texts. Their percussion draws from hidûss and hadra, and is as much in the rhythm as is in the darbouka or the bendir. Their rhythm is rich and comes in many genres; borrowing the rhythm of ’arûbi (a free and repetitive rhythm) and haddâwî (the rhythm of the wandering mystics of the Moroccan brotherhood of Sidi Haddi) as well as other rhythms and melodies from all across the Maghreb.

Listen to the music: