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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 concert will start promptly at 8pm

Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes including interval

8pm Kit Downes and Tom Challenger 
8.30pm  Interval
8.50pm Anouar Brahem: Blue Maqams

All times are approximate and subject to change

Produced by the Barbican in association with Serious

Part of the Songlines 20th Anniversary series

‘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‘

Digital programme


photo of  Anouar Brahem

Watch: Anouar Brahem – Blue Maqams

Anouar Brahem performs Blue Maqams. 

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. 

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Barbican Hall