‘Rafiki Jazz..the best of British’ (Songlines: Top of the World)

A big group of star musicians & singers from Africa, India, the Middle East, South America & Europe, bound together on a mission to share their sweeping divine borderless music.

Rafiki Jazz celebrate the start of this new decade with their 4th album release Saraba Sufiyana (Mystic Utopia) which blurs the lines of the sacred & secular to produce a magical and rich visionary songbook, described as a filmic panoramic beauty, featuring music of the spirit, full of life, dance, emotion and joy!

Onstage UK-wide & internationally since 2007, here are the voices & stories of inspirational Sufi soul singer Sarah Yaseen, griot singer & kora player Kadialy Kouyate and Egyptian master-musician Mina Salama, soaring above the band’s thrilling cross-continental instrumental mixes. Rafiki Jazz are renowned for their glittering soundscapes where West African kora meets Brazilian berimbau, Arabic oud duels with Indian violin, bansuri & tabla, and at the core, their compelling grooves of hi-life guitar, Caribbean steelpan & deep electric bass.

Live shows will migrate you to distant lands and bring you close to our urban roots in a musical zone full of possibility & promise. #Rafikian songs are powerful & absorbing, drawing on global folk music’s archives: they touch down in trance & devotion, shake us up with new languages, and offer sound advice, old news and good news in their social commentaries and heritage tales.

Rafiki Jazz have received project & touring awards from Arts Council England, PRS Foundation, Arts & Humanities Research Council enabling extensive UK-wide touring, & have participated in many festivals including Transcender, London African Music Festival, Meltdown, Celebrating Sanctuary (London UK), WOMAD (Charlton Park UK), 10 Days on the Island (Tasmania) & Mundial Montreal (Canada). Live broadcasts include from BBC Taster TV (Great Northern Soundtracks Festival UK) & BBC R3 World on 3 (WOMAD, BBC Folk Night)

‘A truly spellbinding performance & my WOMAD 2018 highlight’ (Katharina Herrman E-FESTIVALS)

lyrics : Urdu, Punjabi, Mandinka, Hindi, English, Gaelic, Coptic, Portuguese
instruments onstage: kora, oud, ney, violin, steelpans, bass, berimbau, tabla, guitar, derbuka, bansuri


Sarah Yaseen (UK/Pakistan) Urdu & Punjabi vocals, percussion
Mina Mikhail Salama (Egypt/UK) Coptic vocals, oud, ney, duduk
Kadialy Kouyate (Senegal/UK) Mandinka & Wolof vocals, kora, sabar
Cath Carr (UK/Nigeria) guitar, steelpans
Tony Koni (UK) bass guitar, sabar
Johnny Ball (UK) tabla, derbuka, santoor
Guery Tibirica (Brazil/UK) berimbau, pandeiro, gumbe
Vijay Venkat (India/UK) Carnatic violin, bansuri







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