The Nile Project brings together artists from the eleven Nile countries, showcasing their diverse musical traditions and instruments while demonstrating the creative potential of transboundary collaborations.
Brought to life in 2013, the project was devised to further musical exchange and dialogue and to raise awareness of the region’s delicate ecosystem. The collaborative model of the Nile Project Collective is a blueprint for new ways Nile Citizens can organize themselves to cooperate and further the sustainability of the Nile Basin. Since the Nile Project’s inception, varying line-ups of musicians have toured extensively through Africa, the Middle East and the US, attracting over 60,000 people to their concerts to date.
The Nile Project brings together musicians from east and north Africa to celebrate the richly diverse cultures that have flourished for centuries along the Nile River. Resonant lyres and seductive strings from up and down the river—from its sources beyond Lakes Victoria and Tana to its delta in Egypt—have learned new musical modes, while buzzing timbres and ingenious polyrhythms support vocals in more than ten languages.
Using music to spark conversation, the Nile Project carries powerful messages about a delicate ecological and political ecosystem. Bringing together cultures and communities all affected by the impact of climate change and modern life on the river, the project is a tangible example of overcoming obstacles and division through artistic collaboration.
The Nile Project’s first album, Aswan, named after the Egyptian city where it was recorded live at the collective’s debut performance, came out in 2013. Their follow-up album Jinja was recorded during the Project’s 2015 US Tour and will be released soon.
Produced by the Barbican in association with Kazum and Arts Canteen, this performance features Nile Project Collective musicians from Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Tanzania.