Learn from the diverse group of talented musicians from Barzakh Festival during this interactive and rhythmic focused workshop.

Participants will have an opportunity to broaden their knowledge on various music genres and instruments. This workshop is by application and geared towards intermediate to advanced musicians with a serious interest to expand their skills. The workshop will be led by Algerian singer and leader of Lemma, Souad Asla; composer and traditional Somali musician, Sahra Halgan, and Mauro Durante, leader of the southern Italian pizzica innovators Canzionere Grecanico Salentino.

This workshop is for any musician interested in expanding skills and music knowledge in other genres. Participants should meet the following criteria:

  • Aspiring and professional musicians above the age of 17
  • Have an openness to new modes of music-making



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.

Sahra Halgan

Sahra Halgan presents a mix of original compositions and traditional Somali songs through distorted guitars, African percussion, and Sahra’s distinctive warbling vocals. With her unique vocal style, Sahra sings about love, gratitude, and rebuilding her nation, using poetry typical of the Somali language.

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (CGS)

Formed by writer Rina Durante in 1975, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (CGS) is regarded as Italy’s leading and longest-standing traditional music ensemble, hailing from the Salento, the heel of the Italian boot, in Puglia. Italy’s fascinating dichotomy of tradition and modernity come together in the music of CGS: the seven piece band and dancer are the leading exponents in a new wave of young performers re-inventing Southern Italy’s Pizzica musical and dance traditions for today’s global audience.

The tens of thousands who often congregate for this Lecce-based band’s concerts in Italy know: Bandleader, fiddler, and drummer Mauro Durante and company can make an audience shimmy with the energy of the ancient ritual of pizzica tarantata, said to cure the taranta spider’s bite with its frenzied trance dances. CGS shows are a life explosion: full of energy, passion, rhythm and mystery, they bring the audience from the past into modernity, and back.

Leadership of the ensemble was handed down to Durante by his acclaimed father Daniele, in 2007. CGS has revitalized both the rousing and the introspective sides of Southern Italian song and dance. Durante continues to innovate and energize, bringing decades of experience playing with global artists (Ballake Sissoko, Ibrahim Maalouf, Piers Faccini), contemporary classical composers (Ludovico Einaudi), and pop mavericks (Stewart Copeland of The Police). Internationally acclaimed by critics and audiences, with 20 albums and countless shows all over the world, CGS was awarded Best Group in the world at the Songlines Music Awards 2018.