The Nile Project
Part of the APPlause! K-12 Performing Arts Series
Founded in 2011 by Egyptian ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis and Ethiopian-American singer Meklit Hadero, the Nile Project is one of the tightest cross-cultural musical collaborations in history. Working to raise awareness of the entire Nile River basin as an ecosystem, the 27-member Nile Project collective hail from all along the great river that connects 11 countries and over 400 million people—a region that has been marred by political and ecological conflicts—from its sources beyond Lake Victoria to its delta in Egypt.
Resonant harps and lyres from up and down the river have learned new musical modes, while buzzing timbres and ingenious polyrhythms support vocals in more than 10 languages. Instruments that parted ways millennia before are reunited and pushed into new places. Love songs have crossed geographic and linguistic barriers to forge new, close friendships.
The Nile Project is transforming the Nile conflict by inspiring, educating, and empowering an international network of university students to cultivate the sustainability of their ecosystem. The project’s model integrates programs in music, education, dialogue, leadership, and innovation to engage students across disciplines and geographies.
Run time approximately 60 minutes
About The Nile Project
From their debut concert, captured live on the 2013 release entitled ASWAN, it was clear that the Nile Project was something completely new. NPR named the recording one of five “Must Hear International Albums.” Fast forward a couple of years—through 2 Africa Tours and a 4-month US Tour with stops at 25 universities, the Lincoln Center and the United Nations—and almost every major media outlet in the US agrees that the Nile Project is much more than just a band. The Nile Project is “a committed, euphoric international coalition” (New York Times).
One of the tightest cross-cultural collaborations in history, the Nile Project Collective brings together artists from the 11 Nile countries, representing over 400 million people, to make new music that combines the rich diversity of one of the oldest places on Earth. Resonant harps and lyres from up and down the river—from its sources beyond Lake Victoria to its delta in Egypt—have learned new musical modes, while buzzing timbres and ingenious polyrhythms support vocals in more than ten languages. Instruments that parted ways millennia before are reunited and pushed into new places. Love songs have crossed geographic and linguistic barriers to forge new, close friendships.
Using music to spark cultural curiosity, the Nile Project engages musicians and audiences, encouraging them to feel connected to the world’s longest river and to explore new approaches to its large-scale social, cultural, and environmental problems. The Collective’s collaborative model is a blueprint for a new way Nile Citizens can organize themselves to cooperate to make the Nile more sustainable. In an evolving series of interlocking programs that spring from the concert experience, the project aims to inspire, educate and empower young people worldwide to become Nile Citizens.
- Study guide: The Nile Project (PDF 1.38M)
Friday, March 24, 2017 - 10:11am
A River Runs Through It: Five UNC campuses learn about African culture, music, sustainability from Nile ProjectFriday, March 24, 2017 - 10:05am
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 5:37pm