The band Boi Akih represents a musical movement in which diverse styles from such places as India, Africa, Europe and the Moluccan Islands blend with jazz. Singer Monica Akihari and composer guitarist Niels Brouwer characterise the essence of Boi Akih with an ensemble of song and composition. In search of their musical boundaries, they challenge and at the same time complement one another. Akihari sings not only in English but also in her native language: the language of the Moluccan island Haruku. On their latest CD Yalelol, the group uses a duet-form, and in addition to jazz, their are also Indonesian, Indian, European, West African and Arab influences. On the third album Uwa i (2004), Boi Akih was inspried by music from Bangalore, India. The first self-titled CD of Boi Akih appeared in 1997 and the second one, Above the Clouds, Among the Roots, in 2000. De Volkskrant wrote: "Boi Akih is a world-class band. Daring, adventurous and lyrical are the keywords."(WIN 2008)
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On the Opening Night of the Winternachten festival 2018 the focus was on freedom of speech.
Pauline Krikke, Mayor of The Hague, opened the festival followed by a word of welcome by Ton van de Langkruis, Director of Winternachten festival. Jennifer Clement, writer and President of PEN International introduced Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid. His novel Exit West was nominated for the Man Booker Prize 2017. On the occasion of the Opening Night, Hamid delivers the Free the Word! speech.
The prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Awards, presented to the winners by Oxfam Novib director Farah Karimi, honour writers who currently risk their freedom and even their lives to seek out and publish the truth.
The winners of the Oxfam Novib PEN Awards 2018 are journalist and writer Milagros Socorro from Venezuela and journalist Eskinder Nega from Ethiopia. Nega is imprisoned in his homeland and is therefore not attending to receive his Award.
The award ceremony was followed by an introduction of the award winners during the PEN Conversation by journalist and Nieuwsuur-anchor Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal.
The Opening Night programme further included performances by Boi Akih (world jazz) and Joost Baars (poetry). The programme was hosted by Margot Dijkgraaf, literary critic who regularly publishes in Dutch national newspaper NRC, and Chair of the Board of the Writers Unlimited organisation.
The Opening Night is organized in collaboration with Oxfam Novib, PEN International and PEN Nederland.
Seasoned Winternighters know the group Boi Akih. On their most recent CD, Yalelol, the group forms a duet. The dark, charming voice of Monica Akihary and the subtle and intriguing music of composer and guitarist Niels Brouwer make for a fascinating, original sound with jazz and Indonesian, Indian, European, West African and Arab influences. In Indonesia the duo recently played for a hysterical crowd of 10,000. At Winternachten they're assisted by Bart Fermie on percussion.
Boi Akih, the music group around singer Monica Akihary, is making fame in Europe. "In their combination of European, Indian and Indonesian culture on the one hand, and jazz on the other, Boi Akih has a unique sound, a color not to be copied within the actual musical landscape", wrote the French press. "With her voice Monica Akihary sublimizes and charmes the ethnic-jazz.". Singer Monica Akihary is accompanied by Ernst Reijseger op violoncel, Sandip Batthacharya on tabla en Niels Brouwer on guitar.
is the nam of the and accompanying lead singer Monica Akihary. Niels Brouwer on guitar, Stephan Braun on violoncel and Sandip Bhattacharya on tabla. Monica sings in Harukunese, the language of one of the Molukkan islands. A CD with this new repertoire will be issued soon.
Sam Tshabalala & Sabeka: Sam Tshabalala and his nine musicians from South Africa, with swinging Township music. Boi Akih: Moluccan/Antillian/Dutch band, with singer Monica Akihary and base player and composer Eric Calmes. Eddie Veldman Opoyeye Kwartet: around drummer Eddie Veldman: Jazzy en Kaseko. Abe & Aloz: Poet Abé Barreto Soares accompanied by Ayois Oz with music from East Timor.