Anouar Brahem: Blue Maqams

with Dave Holland, Django Bates, Nasheet Waits

Anouar Brahem sitting on a staircase holding his oud

Experience the haunting music of the Tunisian composer and master of the oud, in a rare performance drawing together his profound insight into Arab music alongside a broader musical spectrum.

No stranger to playing with jazz musicians, Anouar Brahem created Blue Maqams -  referencing the sophisticated modal system of Arab music, with an added blue quality sheened from the improvisations of his three collaborators.

Performing music from their acclaimed ECM record, the dialogue between Brahem and pianist Django Bates is full of surprise and invention. With a rhythm section of master bassist Dave Holland, last heard at the Barbican with tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, and the tirelessly inventive drummer Nasheet Waits, combined, the quartet create some of the most absorbing group sounds of recent years. Live, they produce a melodic and rhythmic intensity and atmosphere that transcends musical category. 

Support comes from pianist Kit Downes and saxophonist Tom Challenger performing music from their forthcoming ECM album.

This performance will begin promptly at the advertised start time and running time will be confirmed closer to the event.

As a guide, please note that events usually finish by 11pm at the latest.

Produced by the Barbican in association with Serious

Part of the Songlines 20th Anniversary series

Members and Members Plus enjoy 20% off ticket prices for this show

No booking fee. Discounted tickets subject to availability.

Become a member.


Aged 14–25? Join Young Barbican for free.

No booking fee. Subject to availability.

*Excludes £3 booking fee

Logo for the Songlines 20th Anniversary
‘A classic-in-the-making that should ultimately be considered one of the label's very best recordings in its nearly fifty-year history‘
All About Jazz
‘A gently exquisite album… a thrilling meeting of master musicians‘


Play button icon
photo of  Anouar Brahem

Watch: Anouar Brahem – Blue Maqams

Anouar Brahem performs Blue Maqams. 

Play button icon
a great photo of kamasi washington playing jazz

Listen: Jazz on Spotify

Follow our regularly updated Jazz playlist for a sample of the music you'll hear across our programme. 

Play button icon
Photo of Nils Frahm performing at the Barbican

Podcast: Contemporary Music

Subscribe to our fortnightly podcast for exclusive interviews and music from the world's greatest artists in jazz, folk, soul, contemporary classical and the more experimental ends of rock, pop and electronica. 

Available on iTunes, Spotify and Acast

Share the gift of culture

A gift that keeps on giving - a whole year of benefits including unlimited free gallery entry, 20% off cinema tickets and priority booking

Barbican Hall