MASS MoCA: Alsarah and the Nubatones

Friday November 9, 2012

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Blending 1970s Nubian songs, Western soul, and vintage Sudanese pop, Alsarah and the Nubatones rock Club B-10 at MASS MoCA on Saturday, Nov. 10. Alsarah, a Sud anese-American firecracker, is the leading lady of this extraordinary band bound together by a collective love for Nubian music and the belief that soul transcends all cultural barriers. Much of the music performed up in the club at MASS MoCA is sponsored by the Hans & Kate Morris Fund for New Music.

Born in Sudan’s capital city, Khartoum, Alsarah grew up in Sudan, Yemen, and the Berkshires. After attending the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter High School in Hadley, Massachusetts, she attended Wesleyan University, and now resides in Brooklyn, N.Y. Alsarah performs music from different parts of the Middle East and East Africa.

Heavily influenced by music from both her native homeland and her adopted ones, Alsarah comes together with her band, the Nubatones, to create music that reflects a journey through diaspora; this is musical migration filtered through an urban lens. Afropop Worldwide calls the band’s sound "a blend of original compositions and traditional pieces, grounded in the Sudanese and Nubian musical traditions but sails in the pocket of funk and soul music." Inspired by the pentatonic scale - the musical mode with five notes per octave as opposed to a heptatonic seven-note scale that much of Western music utilizes - the band brings a fresh perspective to music.

Alsarah and the Nubatones take the stage in MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. Club B-10 is an intimate, casual venue on the third floor of MASS MoCA. Tickets are $12 in advance or $16 on the day of the show. Student tickets are $10. Members receive a 10% discount on tickets. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office, located off Marshall Street in North Adams, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.(closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413-662-2111 during Box Office hours or purchased online at


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