Funded by the European Union

MAISHA Music

Harmony unleashed: Connecting continents through music, diversity, and unforgettable connections

MAISHA started as a musical journey. Responding to an open call for applicants, 12 talented artists from both continents, with different backgrounds & instruments, were selected from 300 applicants to become musical partners through a 2-week residency programme in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The crew of outstanding musicians was an ode to diversity: 7 Africans [Ethiopia (x2), Mali, Morocco, South Africa, Tanzania & Zimbabwe] 4 Europeans [France (x2), Italy and Poland] and 1 artist in between the 2 continents [Hungary/Tanzania].

MAISHA Live!

MAISHA Dance live stream update: watch the recorded show

We apologize for the technical problem with the live stream on the link provided here yesterday. However, the show was recorded and can be watched by clicking the button below.
Don’t miss out on this exciting experience—tune in from the comfort of your home.

Collaboration, fusion, and the birth of a 12-track masterpiece

Guided by a musical director, the group collaborated and co-created 12 original musical pieces in a magical fusion of crossover jazz and worldbeat. Traditional and modern instruments were blended: accordion, alto sax, bass guitar, clarinet, double bass, drums, electric guitar, flute, kora, Masinqo, mbira, percussions, piano and soprano sax.

After this process, the combo moved to a recording studio to perpetuate their work in a 12-track album.

The performances

To mark Europe Day in May 2019, the historic Addis Ababa National Theatre went through a partial renovation process funded by the European Union, to host the first MAISHA show, a sold-out event that still lingers in the cultural memory of the city.

The highlights of the residence and almost 2-hour concert were registered in a 30-minute documentary.

COVID19 happened right after but the musicians chose to remain active in virtual mode. Each artist recorded from home, and a unique performance was put together.

In October 2021, the group stepped on stage again for a public performance at the Kigali Arena, in Rwanda’s capital, followed by a private concert to close the 2nd AU-EU Foreign Affairs Ministerial Meeting in the same city.

MAISHA Music’s last 2 gigs took place in Brussels in February 2022. The first was a public concert at Bozar, Centre for Fine Arts, featuring guest star and music legend from Senegal Youssou N’Dour. The second gig was a private show to a distinguished audience of Heads of States from African and European countries during the 6th EU-AU Summit.

The impact of this EU-funded project on the 12 artists’ personal and professional lives is tangible. They all received equal and fair financial compensation for their hard work and benefited from international exposure and following. MAISHA MUSIC was an additional springboard to their rising careers, allowing them to showcase their talent, get additional work opportunities and perform alongside other well-established artists.

“Bringing people together” was taken to a different level. One of the players and an EU official met through the project. They fell in love, got married and gave birth to a beautiful girl they named Maisha.
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The Artists

The MAISHA impact

MAISHA Music drew global attention and admiration. A documentary film was created, showing the beauty and challenges of creating unique new sounds and defeating cultural barriers.

It may not come as a surprise that MAISHA Music also propelled the individual musicians into worldwide recognition, and further elevated their musical careers.

MAISHA performances

Europe Day / May 2019 / Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Europe Day / May 2019 / Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

To mark Europe Day, the historic Addis Ababa National Theatre went through a partial renovation process funded by the European Union, to host the first MAISHA show, a sold-out free-of-charge event that still lingers in the cultural memory of the city. The highlights of the concert were registered in a 30-minute documentary.

Online performance / May 2020

Online performance / May 2020

When COVID19 took the world by surprise, the musicians chose to remain active. From their homes, each artist played their own instrument and the remote creation was put together in an online performance.

Public performance / October 2021 / Kigali, Rwanda

Public performance / October 2021 / Kigali, Rwanda

The group stepped on a big stage again for a free-of-charge public show at the Kigali Arena in Rwanda. Attended by almost 2000 people and gathering 3 million impressions on social media, it was the first live performance in the country after strict COVID19 restrictions in place for many months.

AU-EU Ministerial / October 2021 / Kigali, Rwanda

AU-EU Ministerial / October 2021 / Kigali, Rwanda

A private concert was organised to close the 2nd AU-EU Foreign Affairs Ministerial Meeting in Kigali. Attended by a distinguished audience that included Josep Borrell (the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy), Jutta Urpilainen (European Commissioner for International Partnerships) and a wide range of foreign ministers and ambassadors from Africa and Europe.

Public performance / February 2022 / Brussels, Belgium

Public performance / February 2022 / Brussels, Belgium

A public concert at Bozar featured guest star & Senegalese music legend Youssou N'Dour to a sold-out audience.

EU-AU Summit / February 2022 / Brussels, Belgium

EU-AU Summit / February 2022 / Brussels, Belgium

A private showcase was organised to close the 6th EU-AU Summit, attended by a distinguished audience of Heads of States from African and European countries.

Star guest Youssou N’Dour

The 2019 MAISHA Music event in Brussels, graced by the legendary Youssou N’Dour, epitomized a captivating fusion of African and European musical brilliance. Youssou N’Dour’s presence added a magical touch, enchanting the audience with a soulful and energetic performance. His socially relevant music resonated, creating an unforgettable atmosphere that showcased Maisha’s core essence – celebrating unity through music. The event, a testament to cross-cultural collaboration, remains etched in memory, illustrating the timeless impact of music in creating profound moments of unity.

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MAISHA music album

MAISHA Dance live stream update: watch the recorded show

Experience the enchanting and dynamic performance that captivated a nearly full Adwa Victory Memorial.

Don’t miss this opportunity to witness the artistry and cultural richness of the MAISHA Dance event.