Rafiki Jazz #FourthWorldMusic
“Rafiki Jazz…the best of British” –
Songlines Top of the World album ‘Har Dam Sahara’ (Riverboat)
A big group of star musicians and singers from Africa, India, the Middle East, South America and 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 and internationally since 2007, here are the voices and stories of inspirational Sufi soul singer Sarah Yaseen, griot singer and 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 and tabla, and at the core, their compelling grooves of hi-life guitar, Caribbean steelpan and 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 and promise. #Rafikian songs are powerful and absorbing, drawing on global folk music’s archives: they touch down in trance and devotion, shake us up with new languages, and offer sound advice, old news and good news in their social commentaries and heritage tales.
‘Vital affirming music!’ (Marc Higgins: FATEA)
‘From Sheffield to the World it’s fresh and dynamic and very exciting!’ (Garth Cartwright: SONGLINES)
‘The most diverse band in the UK…excellent Sufi-inspired luxuriant sounds’ (EVENING STANDARD)
‘An immediate sense of the world united in music’ (Alan Wilkinson: NORTHERN SKY)
‘Rafiki Jazz the best of British! How to do East meets West with subtlety & flair (SONGLINES)
‘Brilliant in musicality and transcendent in sound’ (Rhythm Passport at WOMAD)
Lyrics : Urdu, Punjabi, Mandinka, Hindi, English, Gaelic, Coptic
Onstage: kora, oud, ney, violin, steelpans, bass, berimbau, tabla, guitar, derbuka, bansuri
SINGERS & PLAYERS
Sarah Yaseen (UK/Pakistan) Urdu & Punjabi vocals, percussion
Mina Mikhail Salama (Egypt/UK) Coptic vocals, oud, ney & kawala flutes
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
2007 ‘Big Muzik from Over There’ (KoniEP2007)
2009 ‘More Big Muzik from Over There (KoniCD009)
2012 ‘No Lines No Separation’ (Vinyl 10” RR1)
2014 ‘At Kriol Junction’ (KoniCDE010)
2017 ‘Har Dam Sahara’ (TUGCD1106)
2017 ‘Rough Guide to Acoustic India’ track 04 ‘Har Chand Sahara’ (RGNET1361)
2018 ‘Rough Guide to World Music 25th Anniversary Edition’ track 01 ‘Sunno’ (RGNET1370CD)2018 ‘Stimela! 20 Years of Refugee Week’ track 15 ‘Tasbih’(bandcamp.com) 2020 ‘Saraba Sufiyana’ (KoniCD011)