Karkhana residency
Seven pieces band with a soaring take on Middle Eastern future free jazz/psych/kraut
8 January 2018 - 14 January 2018

Featuring some of the most innovative players from Beirut, Cairo and Istanbul, Karkhana met in Beirut for the first time in February 2014, bringing together influences from the three major experimental music scenes of the region and beyond. Through their live shows, the band’s seven multi-instrumentalists build a transcendental atmosphere full of surprises for the audience and themselves alike, developing what could possibly be called free Middle Eastern music. Shades and traces of shaabi, tarab, sufi and much more are heard in the distinct blend of free jazz and psychedelic they’ve created.

I wish I could track down more of this tantalising outfit’s music to share… This Middle Eastern supergroup first got together to celebrate the music of Egyptian surf guitarist Omar Khorshid – who was also a key figure in Oum Kalthoum’s orchestra – but their remit has expanded somewhat and now they’re fully committed to outer-perimeter explorations in Krautrock-leaning, cosmic free jazz”, John Doran, The Guardian

To learn more about Karkhana see the full set in November 2016 in Paris, The Church of Saint-Merri or listen to Soundcloud.


Michael Zerang: drums, cymbals, percussion

Sam Shalabi: oud, electric guitar

Mazen Kerbaj: trumpet, objects, percussion

Maurice Louca: electric organ, synthesizers, fx

Sharif Sehnaoui: electric guitar

Umut Çağlar: double reeds, bamboo flutes, percussion, violin

Tony Elieh: electric bass, fx

Sarah El Miniawy: band manager and residency producer

Michael Zerang, Sam Shalabi, Mazen Kerbaj, Maurice Louca, Sharif Sehnaoui, Umut Çağlar, Tony Elieh, Sarah El Miniawy