Most recent article by: Stefan Franzen

Simin Tander (photo:

The German-Afghan jazz singer Simin Tander

An unknown homeland

Simin Tander has undertaken a musical journey to her roots and to herself. The means of transport are varied: poems in Pashto, English and French, a jazz quartet and a finely nuanced, expressive alto voice. The destination is an exceptional album that transcends the boundaries between jazz, singer-songwriting and world music. Simin Tander's new album impresses listeners with its deep sensitivity and disarming honesty. By Stefan FranzenMore

Mahmoud Turkmani (photo: ©

Interview with the Lebanese Composer and Oud Player Mahmoud Turkmani

''I'm Way Beyond Any Categorization''

The 47-year-old musician and composer Mahmoud Turkmani was a highly accomplished oud player as a boy. As a young man, he rebelled against his upbringing and became a Communist. He left Beirut during the civil war and studied classical guitar at the Moscow Conservatory. From his adoptive home in Switzerland, he now enriches both Western and Eastern music with unorthodox works that fuse traditional and experimental elements and defy all categorization. Stefan Franzen met the artistMore

Poster of ''Tracks of Cairo'' (image: Movimientos)

The Film ''Tracks of Cairo''

An Audio Diary of the Revolution

In January 2011, the German filmmaker Alexander Brief set off for Cairo to document the city's current music scene together with the ethnologist Johannes Roskamm. Shortly after arrival, the first popular protests broke out on Tahrir Square. Quite unintentionally, "Tracks of Cairo" turned out to be a musical as well as political diaryMore

Musicians from the Music for One God project (photo:

The Multinational Project ''Music for the One God''


Harmonious Triad of Religions

Under the direction of the Turkish composter and oud player Mehmet Yeşilçay, the multinational project "Music for the One God" unites the sounds of Islamic, Sephardic-Jewiosh and Christian music. Stefan Franzen reportsMore

Kristjan Järvi and the Absolute Ensemble (photo: PR)

Daniel Schnyder, the Absolute Ensemble & Marcel Khalifé

Marriage of East-West Music on the Hudson

Celebrating musical reconciliation at a place scarred by incredible pain requires a delicate touch and a musical tour de force if the result is to be convincing. New York's Absolute Ensemble and the Lebanese artist Marcel Khalifé took up this challenge. Stefan Franzen sends us this review of the resulting CD, Arabian NightsMore