about seffarine

"gorgeous intersection of Spanish flamenco, Arabic and Andalusian music, Persian classical, and jazz"
-E.E. Bradman, Bass Player Magazine


 

Seffarine's international blend of sounds features soulful Moroccan singer Lamiae Naki and flamenco guitarist Nat Hulskamp. Their music embraces and extends Naki's rich heritage, which spans from Moorish Spain to the Sahara, by mixing Arabic Andalusi music with Hulskamp's dynamic flamenco guitar, the grooves of acclaimed bassist Damian Erskine and the exotic instrumentation of Persian master multi-instrumentalist Bobak Salehi. These diverse backgrounds meld into an intoxicating blend of ancient and modern that Bass Player Magazine describes as a “gorgeous intersection of Spanish flamenco, Arabic and Andalusian music, Persian classical, and jazz”.

In 2015, Seffarine was awarded a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council to travel to Spain to record their original music in collaboration with living legends of flamenco music, including Diego del Morao and Tomasa La Macanita.

The record gained Seffarine international acclaim when it placed in top world music charts around the globe, including Afribuku's Top 13 African Releases and the Transglobal World Music Charts, a panel of 43 world music experts from 28 countries. In 2017, Seffarine was honored to be selected by the Western Arts Alliance (WAA) as one of three Launchpad Artists. Seffarine is based in Portland, OR and has been playing to enthusiastic audiences from the Western US to as far as Indonesia.

 

Seffarine takes its name from the ancient metalworking square in Lamiae's home city of Fes, Morocco. Her family is well known in the Seffarine as master metalworkers continuing the tradition today. The square dates back to the 9th century and is famous for the complex rhythms that can be heard from the blacksmiths' hammers.

about the artists:

Lamiae Naki (vocals) was born in the city of Fes, the historic cultural capital of Morocco. Fes’ medina or old walled city is the biggest in the Arab world and is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is the only functioning medieval city and also the home of the oldest continuously running university in the world. As a center for learning in the Arab world, one can hear in Fes classical Arabic music as well as every kind of traditional Moroccan music, Sufi music, Andalusian music, pop, jazz and hip hop. She was drawn to music from a young age and began singing, writing songs, and using every resource to find new music and influences from widely varying cultures. Lamiae studied Andalusian music and other forms of classical Arabic music in Fes, and has continued to creatively apply her expertise in Moroccan and Andalusi music to many other traditions. She has performed in concerts in the United States, Morocco, Canada, Indonesia and Turkey. Lamiae has also been featured on recordings such as “Hora de Soñar” by Martín Zarzar of the world renowned group Pink Martini and the soundtrack for the film by Alissa Cramer “No Plorar Mai” (USA/Spain/Angola). In 2012 She was awarded a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council to travel to Istanbul, Turkey to study classical Turkish singing with master singer Aylin Sengun Tasci. Lamiae now resides in Portland, USA

Nat Hulskamp (flamenco guitar/oud) was born in Portland, OR. He began studying guitar with guitarist/composer Paul Chasman at age seventeen. He was soon introduced to flamenco guitar by Jose Solano. His interest in the influence of Arabic music on flamenco led him to study oud in Morocco. After returning to the US, he moved to Seattle to study ethnomusicology at the University of Washington. There he worked with the groups Carmona Flamenco, The Rez Quartet and others ranging in style from Hungarian Csardas and Gypsy swing to flamenco. In 2004 he moved to Portland and formed the group Shabava with kamancheh/sehtar/violinist and singer Bobak Salehi. Nat has

studied with the top flamenco guitarists of today including, Diego del Morao, Manuel Parrilla, Pepe del Morao, José Antonio Rodriguez and Dani de Morón. In 2012 Nat received a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council to travel to Jerez de la Frontera, Spain to continue studying flamenco guitar with the Morao family. He now resides in Portland, composing and performing with Shabava, Caminhos Cruzados and Seffarine.

They are joined by: Persian master multi-instrumentalist Bobak Salehi (kamancheh/sehtar/violin/tar), world renowned bassist Damian Erskine, flamenco dancer Manuel Gutierrez, versatile drummer from Madagascar Manavihare Fiaindratovo and legendary flamenco percussionist Luís de Perikín, who was featured on Paco de Lucia’s final record and is one of the most sought after drummers in flamenco.

Recording in Jerez de la Frontera:
a collaboration with the greats of flamenco

"un placer para los oídos - a treat for the ears"
-Javier Mantecón, Afribuku (Spain) Best CD Releases of 2015


 

The record gained Seffarine international acclaim when it placed in top world music charts around the globe, including Afribuku's Top 13 African Releases and the Transglobal World Music Charts, a panel of 43 world music experts from 28 countries. Spanish music critic Javier Mantecón wrote, "made from in-depth knowledge of the music on both banks of the Strait of Gibraltar, we have to go back to El Lebrijano's experiments with the Andalusian Orchestra of Tangier to find such solid work." Apple Music chose one of the tracks, an homage to the late-great flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla, for the playlist, Inspired by Camarón de la Isla, along with the top artists of flamenco, such as Pepe de Lucia and Tomatito.

De Fez a Jerez continues to receive acclaim internationally which has led to several other recording collaborations in Spain, including flamenco-pop star Sarayma, La Bejazz, a group of flamenco jazz fusion virtuosos from Marchena, Spain, and most recently, recording a Seffarine original with master flamenco guitarist Antonio Rey, who many consider to be the heir apparent to Paco de Lucia's throne.

Seffarine's debut CD, De Fez a Jerez  ("From Fez to Jerez") was named after Nat and Lamiae's well worn path between the two cities. Fez is the ancient cultural capital of Morocco and Lamiae's home city. Jerez is a town in Andalusia, just across the Straights of Gibraltar, well known for being home to many of the great artists in flamenco music. Nat has done much of his training in Jerez with the flamenco guitar masters of the mostly Gypsy neighborhood, Barrio Santiago.

In 2015, Seffarine was awarded a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council to travel to Spain to record their original music in collaboration with living legends of flamenco music, including Diego del Morao and Tomasa La Macanita.

After Spanish newspaper La Voz del Sur published an article about Seffarine's recording project, word spread through the barrio and some of the living legends of flamenco came to the studio to check out the project. Seeing the solid background and deep respect for the traditions of flamenco, alongside a fresh approach and creative explorations of the common history and musical roots of Morocco and Andalusia, they enthusiastically offered to collaborate with Seffarine.

What followed were several midnight sessions full of creativity, soulful improvisations and collaborations with these artists Nat and Lamiae have listened to and admired for years.

flamenco singer La Macanita and Lamiae Naki recording De Fez a Jerez
Nat Hulskamp and Diego del Morao in the studio, Jerez, Spain.
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