Earlier this year the New York-based Lincoln Center for Performing Arts commissioned The Nile Project, a collaboration between 18 musicians from six countries.
The resulting album is called Aswan, so named after the Egyptian city in which it was recorded. The record features artists from Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, and is inspired by the Nile, the world’s longest river, which runs through 11 different countries.
Started by Egyptian musicologist Mina Girgis and Ethiopian-American singer Meklit Hadero in 2011, the aim of this ambitious project “is to inspire, educate, and empower Nile citizens to work together towards fostering the sustainability of the river’s ecosystem”.
The programme runs beyond music, however, with educational programs, an online forum, and a Nile Prize in the pipeline.
The collective will tour Africa and Europe after this, followed by a trip to North America in 2015.