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The Nile Project to Perform at Meany Hall, 1/30

Inspired by Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project, Egyptian musicologist Mina Girgis and Ethiopian-American singer Meklit Hadero created their own, localized concert experience -- one that uses the power of music to raise awareness of the cultural and environmental challenges along the world's longest river. Now touring, the Nile Project Brings together forward-thinking musicians from the 11 countries across the Nile Basin, channeling the unsung beauty of East African traditions to create the new sound of a shared Nile identity. In the collective's collaborative compositions, resonant harps and lyres from up and down the river have learned new musical modes, combining the polyrhythmic styles of Lake Victoria and the pointed melodies of the Ethiopian highlands with the rich modal traditions of Egypt, and Sudan, that support vocals in more than ten languages.

In January, 2013, the Nile Project recorded its debut album, Aswan, named one of the "5 Must-Hear International Albums" of the year by NPR. This live concert album was the culmination of a ten-day residency that brought together 18 musicians from Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda to collaboratively create a new body of songs inspired by the Nile Basin's diverse musical traditions and instruments. A second album from their January 2014 Uganda gathering is forthcoming.

The Nile Project performs Friday, January 30, 2015 at Meany Hall on the University of Washington campus at 8pm.

Pre-show Conversation (ticket to performance required):

Civic Engagement and the Management of Water Resources
6-7pm on the Meany Hall stage

Presented in Partnership with the Center for Global Studies at the Jackson School for International Studies

Human life depends on the availability and quality of water to sustain our health, grow our food, power our homes with electricity and stimulate our economies. However, due to overpopulation, increased demand for food, climate change and pollution, as much as two-thirds of the world's citizens may face water-stressed conditions severely impacting the living and economic conditions of communities, countries and regions by 2025. Without water, we cannot survive. How can we, as individuals, become more involved in the management of this precious and limited resource? Using the Nile Basin and your community as regional and local case studies, a panel of experts, Nile Project founder Mina Girgis and select Nile Project musicians will explore the use of innovative civic engagement strategies to create a common understanding between competing interests and build constituencies for action both between and within nations where water has become an impediment to peace and socio-economic development.

Related Event:

Women of the Nile
A community concert at Seattle Asian Art Museum
Wednesday, January 28, 7PM

Women play a vital role in the use, management and supply of resources such as water, food and energy at community and household levels in all the Nile Basin countries. However, they are often overlooked in decision-making and planning processes. Join us for a moderated discussion with female musicians from the Nile Project Collective about the challenges and opportunities they've faced in the world of traditional music and how these relate to broader regional gender issues. Join the musicians as they play, sing and reflect on their experiences as women of the Nile.

Tickets: | 206-543-4880.

About The Nile Project - The Nile, one of the world's most iconic rivers, has captivated the imagination of millions throughout time. Originating in two sources -- Lake Victoria in East Africa and Lake Tana in the Ethiopian highlands -- the 6,670-kilometer river flows northward through a diversity of climates, landscapes, and cultures before passing through Egypt and emptying into the Mediterranean Sea.

Its 437 million inhabitants are projected to more than double within the next forty years, placing an ever increasing demand for Nile water; water that is tied to all aspects of life - from the food on tables to the electricity that powers homes to people's health. Even now, people living along the Nile are vulnerable to water-related hardships. At least five nations in the Nile basin are facing water stress. Seven of the eleven Nile countries continue to suffer from undernourishment rates higher than 30%. Less than 10% of basin residents have access to electricity. The core issue at hand is how to peacefully allocate Nile Basin water among eleven nations with different needs and priorities, whose populations are all skyrocketing.

This mounting resource scarcity has contributed to a geopolitical conflict between upstream and downstream riparian states. Tremendous political capital has been expended to draft the Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement, an international treaty to govern water distribution and infrastructure projects differently from the existing 1959 Egyptian-Sudanese treaty giving Egypt the majority water right annually. While the agreement has yet to win mutual consensus, the arduous negotiation process has exposed the deep-seated mistrust between countries, the absence of opportunities for citizen-led dialogue and the lack of a unified identity and vision for the future development of a shared Nile ecosystem.

The Nile River Basin is wrought with political, environmental, economic, and social challenges requiring a new approach to better address the myriad challenges it faces. As regional tensions flare, the Nile Project offers a unique grassroots strategy to effectively mobilize thousands of people across the Nile Basin and beyond in constructive cross-cultural dialogue and collaboration.

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.

The Nile Project brings together artists from the 11 Nile countries to make music that combines the region's diverse instruments, languages and traditions. The concert experience aims to inspire cultural curiosity, highlight regional connections, and showcase the potential of trans-boundary cooperation. The Project creates participatory workshops and cross-cultural dialogues to provide university students with unique intellectual experiences, deepening their understanding of the Nile ecosystem, and stimulating new ways of thinking, communicating, and doing. The Nile Fellowship and Nile Prize programs incentivize university students to apply their education and training toward mobilizing their peers and pioneering innovative solutions to the Nile Basin's complex and interrelated challenges.

For more, go to

About UW World Series - The UW World Series is one of Seattle's leading performing arts organizations, presenting innovative, provocative, and diverse international artists in music, theater and dance. Over 500 visiting artists from around the world have performed as part of the UWWS. The eclectic mix of programming has given Northwest audiences a broad view of the world of performing arts, from sampling unique cultural traditions to experiencing innovative new works that expand the scope and direction of contemporary performing arts. The UW World Series' mission includes supporting the educational goals of the University of Washington by providing extensive arts learning opportunities for UW students and faculty, area school children and teachers, and members of the community at large.

Purchase tickets: Call 206-543-4880, or order online at Tickets may also be purchased in person at the ArtsUW Ticket Office, located at 1313 NE 41st. Or fax your order to the Ticket Office at 206-685-4141. Tickets are subject to availability. Artists, dates, programs and prices are subject to change.

Prices: Regular single tickets range from $35-40. Discounts are available for students, seniors (65+), UW Alumni Association members and UW employees. UW student tickets start at $10. Discount tickets are subject to availability.

Location and parking: Meany Hall is located on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington, on 15th Avenue NE between NE 40th and 41st Streets. Parking for Meany Hall is available in the Central Parking Garage (entrance at 15th Avenue and 41st Street). On-street metered parking is also available.

Accessibility: The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at: 206.543.6450/V, 206.543.6452/TTY, 206.685.7264 (FAX), or e-mail at

Disability seating with up to three companion seats per disability space is available for all UWWS events. Reservations for disability seating must be made at the time of purchase. Please contact the ArtsUW Ticket Office at 206-543-4880 for specific seating options and availability.

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