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Country Kenya Genres fusion roots traditional Festival Sauti za Busara 2011 Recordings
Garissa Express (2010)
The group’s name is derived from the Somali words bismillahi meaning “in the name of Allah” and gargar meaning ‘joining or bringing together’. Bismillahi Gargar is a collective group of women of Somali origin from Garissa, North Eastern Kenya.
Formed in 2003 with the purpose of reminding people of their traditional culture, Bismillahi Gargar focus on their own empowerment in an area where cultural practices can sometimes marginalise women. Music is just one of the activities they engage in. Besides performing on national holidays, at weddings, harvests and other festivities, the women also run a self-help group weaving mats and ropes.
Their debut CD titled Garissa Express was recorded over a period of 2 years at Nairobi's Ketebul Studios, consisting of numerous trips for the ladies, shuttling back and forth between Garissa and Nairobi. This project involved just the four founding members, Lulu Bashir Muge, Anab Gure Ibrtahi, Amina Basher Elmoge and Asha Ibrahim Yussuf. It’s recent release at Alliance Française, Nairobi was a huge success and saw a full house grooving to their vocals, harmonies and dancing.
Their music is uniquely traditional, in keeping with Somali language and singing style, yet arranged and recorded with modern instrumentation that allows Garissa Express to sit pride of place among 2010’s releases in Kenya.