Black, Arab, African, American: An Evening with Alsarah & The Nubatones

Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 7:00pm
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Free but register in advance

Sudanese American Singer-Songwriter Alsarah & her global band The Nubatones seemlessly blend the music of Nubia with the sounds of East Africa and the spirit of Brooklyn. Their multilingual perfomances are evocative. Join us for an exclusive performance followed by a LIVE conversation with Alsarah. We’ll talk about what it means to create liberatory art at the intersections of being Black & Arab, African & American.

An unmissable virtual celebration to close out this year’s virtual Summer Institute for Teachers 2021!


The Sudanese singer from Brooklyn Alsarah gracefully distils atemporal melodies over heady beats, at the crossroads of East-African and Arabic influences. After a successful first album “Silt” released in 2014 and performed on the most prestigious stages of the world, Alsarah and her musicians The Nubatones are back with a new opus “Manara”.

Alsarah & the Nubatones were born out of many dinner conversations between Alsarah and Rami El Aasser about Nubian ‘songs of return’, modern migration patterns and the cultural exchanges between Sudan and Egypt. A common love for the richness of pentatonic sounds, and shared migration experiences, expanded the conversation to include Armenian–American oud player Haig Manoukian and french born togo raised bass player Mawuena Kodjovi. Under the leadership of Alsarah, the Brooklyn based group’s sound grew into what they have dubbed as ‘East–African retro-pop’. Since their first show in October of 2011, the group has performed nationally and internationally at many prestigious festivals and venues.

The event is curated by Asad Ali Jafri. Asad Ali Jafri is a cultural producer, community organizer and interdisciplinary artist with a creative vision for sustainable social change. As an innovative thinker, Asad utilizes the universal language of art to connect communities, cultures and people to transform interactions, perceptions, and collective consciousness. Since 2001, Asad has worked passionately with artists, creatives, and thought leaders across nations, disciplines, and genres to curate meaningful productions, design sustainable initiatives, and build strong communities. Currently Asad is based in Chicago as Executive Director of South Asia Institute.