THE VAGUENESS OF THESE TIMES FASCINATES   Milan Knížák at the AVU  I first read about Milan Knížák in Merian, a German travel magazine, in their special Prague issue, back in 1994. “The President,” the piece was titled. “The rebel as dean – the unlikely career of Milan Knížák.” I guess I was most impressed by the picture of Knížák himself, with ...

Liraz Charhi (42) – or Liraz, as she is commonly known - is a popular Iranian-Israeli singer, who made her musical debut in 2004 coinciding with the kick start of her film career with the flick Turn Left at the End of the World. She takes inspiration from the music of pre-Revolution Iran, in particular the likes of female greats Ramesh ...

MEET THE EXECUTIONER "So when are we gonna meet the executioner?" "Is the executioner coming to the show?" I tried these and some other executioner jokes, but never got a response I was counting on, none of my fellow musicians laughed. Weird, I thought, after all, I was in Lille, they should have gotten it here...they didn't. What about you, ...

**** Nemanja’s Cosmic Disco - from a World Music perspective - isn’t what we’d expect from Croatia – specifically Istria, an historically contested region in the Adriatic, with its own special, mystical/Mediterranean vibe. Throwing together African, Cumbia, funk with a kind of predilection for far-out flower-child-era vocal samples and hippy/trippy instrumental flourishes, it is something that could be produced anywhere ...

**** Readers of Berlin Bazzar may be familiar with Parisian oud player Kamilya Jubran for her collaborative work with Swiss based trumpeter and electro-pioneer Werner Hassler. Back in 1982, while still in Jerusalem, she joined a band called Sabreen, which translates as “Those Awaiting” – an all-Palestinian band, which became the voice of the Intifada. New is that Akuphone has ...

How can someone so outright islamophobic hold a post as integration officer in Neukölln? This is the gist of the current critique by Green and Left politicians regarding Güner Jasmin Balci’s controversial selection. That  Balci (45) had been elected to such a position in such a volatile and ethnically mixed district as Neukölln came as a big surprise to me. I ...

Scene: Friday afternoon on Sonnenallee, otherwise known as the “Gaza Strip”. I am sitting at a table outside an Arabic baklava joint, drinking  a thin coffee out of a paper cup. The sidewalk is hopping with Arabs come from all over to do their shopping at Arabic supermarkets and greengrocers and I am waiting for one the street’s most colorful characters ...

Shortly after the release of his last album, Afropentatonism, I met with vocalist, guitar and bass player, Alhousseini Anivolla at Alexanderplatz for a Berlin Bazzar photo shoot. It was a bright and  sunny day in August. Alhousseini showed up inconspicuously clad in jeans and button-down shirt and spent a good ten minutes changing into his traditional garb, wrapping his head meticulously in a black ...