Refugees for Refugees - Muziekpublique Refugees for Refugees

Refugees for Refugees

The album ’Amerli’ by Refugees for Refugees was best album of 2016 of the Transglobal World Music Charts.

The Refugees for Refugees Band is a band of 10 musicians who are refugees in Belgium and come from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tibet.

After the ’Amerli’ CD-release in may 2016, 10 of the musicians that took part at the recordings created a band. Under the artistic direction of Tristan Driessens, these virtuoso performers created a common repertoire that reveals the talents and cultural treasures that have become virtually invisible in Belgium and builds bridges between the musicians and the different traditions they represent, in order to produce perfomances that are rich, innovative and a mark of diversity and cultural exchange.

These are experienced musicians who have been trained at some of the most prestigious music academies in the Middle East (Damascus, Baghdad, Aleppo) and who have passed through a string of musical centres dotted along the former Silk road. In the past, they have enjoyed a rich career, international fame, and a variety of projects. But now, they have been forced to flee the disastrous situation in their home countries, uprooting themselves and abandoning their contacts, taking only their musical talents and instruments with them. These talents form the basis of the project. Together, we aim to develop a project that will help them to find their place and reconstruct their lives in Belgium.


Tammam Ramadan, a Syrian ney player gives another dimension tot the Aman Yusufi’s Afghan love song with energetic well dosed solo’s. Asad Qizilbash dialogues through his sarod with the qanûn of the Iraqi master Souhad Najem, as if they have been doing it forever. And Aren Dolma is the vocal witness of a mesmerizing singing tradition that lives in the Tibetan highlands.

Hicaz Mandra - Rencontres Inattendus, Doornik, september 2016

Musicians :

- Asad Qizilbash (sarod) (Pakistan-BE)
- Aren Dolma (voice) (Tibet-BE)
- Fakher Madallal (voice, percussion) (Syria-BE)
- Kelsang Hula (dramyen, voice) (Tibet-BE)
- Mohammad Aman Yusufi (dambura, voice) (Afghanistan-BE)
- Simon Leleux (percussion) (BE)
- Souhad Najem (qanun) (Iraq-BE)
- Tammam Al Ramadan (ney) (Syria-BE)
- Tareq Alsayed Yahya (ud) (Syria-BE)
- Tristan Driessens (ud) (BE)

In the press

5-star review (*****) in BBC MUSIC magazine (November 2016)

It’s gratifying how much chemistry the (...) artists from very different cultures find, and the standard of performance is high.

>More press reviews

Info & booking

Lynn Dewitte -, 02 / 217.26.00

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Foto : ©Dieter Telemans

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