“For many projects, music is the end result. But for us, it is just the beginning. The integration of music with youth leadership and innovation, we hope, will create a driving force that will change the way Nile Citizens relate to each other and their shared ecosystem.” -Mina Girgis, Co-founder and Executive Director.

The forward-thinking musicians of the Nile Project channel the unsung beauty of East African traditions. In the collective’s collaborative compositions, resonant harps and lyres from up and down the river have learned new musical modes, while buzzing timbres and ingenious polyrhythms support vocals in more than ten languages.

Designed to captivate local audiences but feel equally accessible to international listeners, the Nile Project uses music to inspire curiosity about and active engagement with the cultural, social, and environmental challenges of the world’s longest river. The Collective’s collaborative model is a blueprint for a new way to organize the Nile.

The project began in 2011 by two San Francisco-based East Africans in response to the deepening water conflict in the Nile Basin. In a few years, the vision of Egyptian ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis and Ethiopian-American singer Meklit Hadero rapidly expanded to bring together musicians of all 11 Nile countries through Nile Gatherings and African and international tours. Building on the success of its musical program, the Nile Project is launching education, leadership, and innovation initiatives to empower university students around the world with the tools they need to make the Nile more sustainable.


Find out more about Nile Project musicians here and tours here.


Image: Nile Project’s Cairo concert at Al Azhar Park on 31 Jan 2013 © Matjaz Kacicnik