The Sudan Music Ensemble brings together some of the finest musicians from the vast and troubled North African nation, showcasing the ancient land's various regions and ethnic groups through music, dance and spoken word. Featured performers include oud expert and vocalist Khalid el Mahi, percussionist Hafiz Abdullah, multi-instrumentalist Mazin Jamal (aka Tarawa), and the great vocalist Salma Al Assal. The Sudan Music Ensemble Youth, an organization devoted to passing on Sudanese culture to children growing up in the diaspora, opens the concert with traditional dances.
The late Sudanese oud master Hamza El Din lived here for years and introduced local audiences to the intricately hypnotic music of his North African homeland. This month, the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival presents the Sudan Music Ensemble performing music and dance from across that land, featuring noted artists like Cairo-based singer Salma Al Assal.