Sudanese music group Otaak Band will bring an exciting East African dance party to Indianapolis on Saturday, January 18th. Cultural Cannibals’ DJ Kyle Long will be spinning African dance grooves throughout the night.
8:30pm Saturday, January 18th at Jiallo’s African Cuisine located at 4202 W 56 st, Indianapolis, Indiana 46254.
Admission $10 – African/Caribbean food and soft drinks will be available. All-ages.
Otaak Band is the collaboration of Miguel Merino and Ahmed Said Abuamna from Eastern Sudan, who met in 2009 in Cairo. Ahmed Said is from the Beja, who are the indigenous people of the region between the Nile and the Red Sea in Northern Sudan and Southern Egypt, and a master of the Beja’s traditional lyre, the masankop.
In April 2012, after three years of collaboration, they recorded their first album of lyre music, Bejawiya, all with words in the Beja language. The band played several concerts in Cairo in support of the album’s release and received a fantastic response from audiences all over the city.
Never before has the lyre been at the forefront of a contemporary ensemble and been used as a complete musical instrument. Otaak Band plays thousand-year-old traditional melodies, pop-rock songs, and everything in between. Otaak opens a direct link to the ancient past while creating a sound that’s completely contemporary.
Otaak Band is dedicated to preserving the Beja culture and language, while breaking new musical ground through its innovative use of the masankop, one of the world’s oldest instruments. In addition to concerts, the band conducts workshops and presentations on rhythm and dance, Beja society and culture, traditional arts and crafts, and building and playing the masankop.