Otaak Band


Bloomington, IN & Sudan. Middle Eastern and African music. A collaboration of Miguel Merino, from Indiana, and Ahmed Said Abuamna from eastern Sudan. Their music has been called a “combination of American Blues and Sudanese Beja music.” Ahmed Said is from the Beja, the indigenous community of southeastern Egypt, eastern Sudan, and western Eritrea. He is a master of the Beja’s traditional lyre, the masankop, and the rich, powerful vocal style typical of Beja music. Miguel is a drummer and composer who sought to bring together their two distant, but deeply connected, styles of music. Otaak Band’s first full-length album of lyre music, Bejawiya, was released in 2012 in Egypt to great acclaim.