Saraba Sufiyana


Saraba Sufiyana (Konimusic 2019)

SARABA SUFIYANA (Mystic Utopia) introduces eight new songs from nine Rafiki Jazz musicians dreaming of their roots across the Middle East, India, West Africa, South America and Europe.

Powered from a rich and personal archive of new and revisited heritage songs, poems and devotional texts, this is the fourth album from this inspired #Rafikian crew of global utopians and their special guest vocalists, and it embraces you with its big emotional presence.

Congratulations, it is a great, great album. Thanks for the music! (Enrique Helguera: DJ Radio Nacional de España RTVE)



Rafiki Jazz
Sarah Yaseen: vocals, ektara, percussion (tracks 01-05, 07, 08)
Avital Raz: vocals, tanpura, guitar (tracks 01-04, 06-08)
Mina Mikhail Salama: vocals, oud, ney & kawala flutes, udu (tracks 01-04, 06-08)
Kadialy Kouyate: vocals, kora (tracks 01-05)
Cath Carr: guitar, soprano steelpan (tracks 01-04, 07, 08)
Tony Koni: bass guitar (tracks 01-05, 07, 08)
Johnny Ball: tabla, derbuka (tracks 01-04, 07, 08)
Guery Tibirica: berimbau, pandeiro, gumbe (tracks 01-04, 07, 08)
Vijay Venkat: violin, bansuri flute (tracks 01-04, 07, 08)

Guest vocalists
Kaitlin Ross (Track 04)
Juan Gabriel Gutierrez (Tracks 07, 08)
Sheffield Folk Harmony Collective: Nancy Kerr, Sam Carter, Marilla Homes, Greg Russell (track 08)


01 Su Jamfata 05:11

(music Kadialy Kouyate, words Kadialy Kouyate/Avital Raz/Sarah Yaseen)
Kadialy Kouyate (Mandinka), Avital Raz (Hebrew) & Sarah Yaseen (Urdu) all sing of home, and although it’s beauty, and its hardship, is far away, it is still very real. Avital revives a powerful image from an old Meir Ariel song ‘all the pains whiten with the opening of the cotton’ as they revisit their homelands together in this ‘no-place’ of shared musicmaking

02 Azadi 06:09

(music Tony Bowring/Cath Carr/John Ball, words Avital Raz)
English is the ‘other-mothertongue’ for Avital Raz & Sarah Yaseen and here, inspired by lyrics written during a truth-seeking journey through Rajasthan, they sing of ‘forgotten words laid upon my heart’ as they face their Azadi (liberty)

03 Chad Gadya 07:44

(music Avital Raz, words trad/Chava Alberstein)
Avital Raz turns to Israeli singer Chava Alberstein’s controversial 80’s version for her take on this powerful and cumulative Aramaic-Hebrew metaphoric passover song, about a little goat and the downward spiral that brings more than its own eventual demise

04 Kashmiri Lullaby | The Waulk | Hukus Bukus 09:11

(music Sarah Yaseen/Avital Raz/Kaitlin Ross/Vijay Venkat, words trad)
An episodic track that goes far to bring together the spirits of remote Kashmiri & Gaelic culture and language through an ancient and deep Sufi lullaby and a Scots womens’ waulking song. A meditative intro from Vijay Venkat’s bansuri flute and Avital Raz’ dhrupad vocals unfolds compelling Urdu and Gaelic verses from Sarah Yaseen and special guest Kaitlin Ross.

05 Chitta Kukar 02.49

(music Sarah Yaseen/Kadialy Kouyate, words trad)
Sarah Yaseen explores a new rendition of a much-loved Punjabi wedding song where Kadialy Kouyate’s stately kora invites Kashmiri and Mandinka cultures to come close.

06 Eshet Chayil 04:01

(music Avital Raz/Mina Salama, words trad)
The sound of Mina Salama’s graceful Arabic oud is an unusual but sympathetic partner to Avital Raz’ rendition of an old Ashkenazi-Hebrew song praising women of valour, that she remembers her grandparents singing before Friday evening family dinners.

07 Cajueiro 05:35

(music Guery Tibirica/Tony Bowring/Sarah Yaseen, words trad/Angelina Abel)
Rooted in a Brazilian Portuguese slave-era chant from exploited cashew nut workers, Cajueiro is adopted by the capoeira community and introduced to Rafiki Jazz by their percussionist and berimbau player Guery Tibirica. It features beautifully crafted lyrics written by Angolan artist Angelina Abel and sung in Portuguese by Sarah Yaseen.

08 My Heart My Home (Shallow Brown | Light of Guidance | The Settlers Wife | Shedemati ) 09:12

(music trad/Marilla Homes/JG Gutierrez, words Marilla Homes/trad)
Voices & shadows of migrations’ journeys, of leaving home both as the oppressed and as the oppressor, whilst cherishing what we hold in our hearts as we pass through to our own zone of displacement. Old & new English settlers’ songs from special guests Nancy Kerr’s Sheffield Folk Harmony Collective, meet old Hebrew and Urdu poetry set to song by Avital Raz and Sarah Yaseen, over an ancient undercurrent of throat and overtone singing from guest vocalist Juan Gabriel Gutierrez.

Additional information

Weight 0.05 kg
Release date



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