The Nederlands Blazers Ensemble (NBE), a wind orchestra known for its energy, sense of fun and daring mixing of genres, is always on the lookout for musical talent from far and wide.
The ud has often played a part in NBE programmes, but never central role. Now, the NBE turns the spotlight on this founding father of plucked stringed instruments,
with melancholic Arabic melodies, John Dowland’s quiet 17th-century laments, stirring Spanish rhythms, and gritty blues.
Grandmaster of the ud Driss El Maloumi gets together with three talented young Dutch musicians: classical lute player David Mackor, flamenco guitarist Jeff Heijne
and blues guitarist Dusty Ciggaar. In an unusual new collaboration especially for
the festival, they join forces and enter the fray, challenged and supported by the NBE’s sense of adventure.
Born in Morocco, Driss El Maloumi is steeped in both the Arabic and Western classical traditions, and draws far more into his playing. Having travelled the world with the likes of Jordi Savall, Debashish Bhattacharya and Montserrat Figueras, and as part of 3MA with Ballaké Sissoko from Mali and Rajery from Madagascar, he returned to his hometown Agadir – itself at the crossroads of Arab, Amazigh, Western and sub-Saharan cultures. Maloumi draws influences from all these sources into his pure, delicate, magical way of playing.