AL JAWALA 2016 01 C byFelixGrotelohÄl Jawala is a world music band from Freiburg in southern Germany, founded in 2000. Äl Jawala is Arabic and means something like “the travellers”, “the wanderers” or “the travelling people”. The group of five describes their style of music as Balkan Big Beats – Fat Boy Slim meets folklore, so to speak – and is made up of elements of oriental and Eastern European music combined with contemporary dancefloor music.
Äl Jawala was first formed as a quartet in 2000 by Steffi Schimmer (alto saxophone), Krischan Lukanow (tenor and alto saxophone), Markus Schumacher (percussion, drums) and Daniel Pellegrini (percussion, drums, digeridoo). In the beginning, they met up in Markus Schumacher’s kitchen just for some jam sessions, then at the lake and later, more frequently on the streets of Freiburg. In 2002, the band released its first album Urbanatya. In 2004, bass player Daniel Verdier joined to make the band complete. But he left the band in 2017 and was replaced by Ben Krahl.
From 2005 on, there were a number of concerts with Frankfurt Balkan-pop DJ Shantel and his Bucovina Club, which helped Äl Jawala to become even better known.
Äl Jawala toured throughout all of central and Eastern Europe, giving numerous concerts on the street, in clubs and at festivals. In 2005, the group was the first Western European band ever to perform at the Stufstock Festival in Vama Veche, Romania. Äl Jawala was also awarded the culture prize by the city of Emmendingen and the jury prize as well as the audience prize at the Creole Festival for world music.
Over the years the band’s music has been released on various media and their songs have appeared on a number of compilations, including the sampler “Pandemonium Gitano” by Zurich Balkan beat/Gypsy punk DJ Rock Gitano, published in 2016. In the same year the album Hypnophonic was released and 2018 another one under the title Lovers.
Steffi Schimmer – alto saxophone
Krischan Lukanow – tenor and alto saxophone
Markus Schumacher – percussion, drums
Daniel Pellegrini – percussion, drums, digeridoo
Ben Krahl – bass


Text: Robert Lippuner / Global Music Network

Translation: Jamie Davies






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