Monday, January 23, 2012

The Nile Project: United Music for a Good Cause

There's a lot of good projects out there doing great things for both music and Africa. However, every now and then something comes along that really catches our eye. In this case, its The Nile Project which is uniting music while raising water concerns in Northeastern Africa. The project recently launched a kickstarter to cull funds.

Find links and information below:

The Nile Project Unites Music, Raises Water Concerns of Northeastern Africa
Fundraising ends Feb. 1, Artist Scouting Begins in April

In a boat crafted of recycled water bottles, a beautiful Ethiopian-American singer / TED Senior Fellow and a brainy Egyptian ethnomusicologist / music activist are about to set sail down the Nile. The goal: Use music--from ear-candy pop to the eldest of traditions--to spark a spirited conversation and change the way people from Uganda to Egypt think about their river, their environment, and their communities.

The ambitious, multiphase Nile Project ( nileproject.org) will gather eclectic, respected musicians from the seven countries along the great river (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt) for local, regional, and international performances. Guided by local tastes and aesthetics, the resulting ensemble will be the first of its kind--and about far more than music. It will leverage the power of music and performance to get people excited, get people in different countries talking across borders and cultures, and help spur efforts to find new, grassroots ways of addressing water issues along the Nile.

This unique, thoughtful combination of international know-how and local savvy, of music and environmental education and activism, is beginning with a Kickstarter campaign to support the first phase.

"It’s not about how do I get more water, or how do I negotiate to get the most water. It's not about scarcity, but about how we can solve this together," explains Mina Girgis, the Cairo-born music scholar and founder of Zambaleta World Music and Dance School in San Francisco. "When I see someone from Ethiopia who plays resonant music, I’m excited to get to know them more. I’m starting to think about them in a very different light. Music can bring people together, instead of separating them."

In this first phase, "we're going to be scouting for musicians, but also looking for a real pool of local advisers in all the places we’re going," singer Meklit Hadero notes. "That's part of our mission, looking for community-based solutions, for local leaders and people on the ground with solutions to environmental problems."

Check out Meklit and Mina talking more about the project and the current Kickstarter campaign.
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