Paris, France, 24 October 2023 - On 18 October, the Aga Khan Master Musicians (AKMM), the resident performing ensemble of the Aga Khan Music Programme, awed a distinguished audience with a demonstration of how Muslim cultural heritage can serve as a rich and inspiring resource for cutting edge musical innovation. Performing in a sold-out concert organised by l’Institut du Monde Arabe, whose mission is to cultivate intercultural dialogue between Europe and the Arab world, the five members of AKMM showcased their own compositions, improvisations and arrangements, many of them featured on the group’s just-released debut recording, Nowruz, produced by the Aga Khan Music Programme in partnership with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.
Founded by the Music Programme in 2013, AKMM draws on music from regions once linked by the trans-Eurasian trade routes popularly known as the Silk Road to create a strikingly original body of work where living musical traditions meet and meld. Speaking at a post-concert reception, Prince Amyn Aga Khan complimented the artists, noting that “While the musical traditions of North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia overlap in significant ways, they are also quite different. Creating new music in which these different worlds meet harmoniously and without resorting to cliché is an admirable achievement”.