February concert by The Miras Silk Road Collective ft Uyghur, Turkish, British and Chinese musicians

This special event brings together a night of mesmerising performances from The Miras Silk Road Collective.

There will be poignant poetry that honours the Uyghur people as they resist cultural erasure, and exquisite

classical maqam, folk songs and instrumental compositions on traditional instruments spanning Turkish, Azeri, Uzbek, and Uyghur musical traditions.

Formerly the London Uyghur Ensemble, The Miras Silk Road Collective was founded in 2018 to encourage collaboration among musicians from different cultures along the Silk Road, and to celebrate their shared cultural heritage.

The core group of professional Uzbek and Uyghur performers have performed alongside musicians and dancers from India, China, Japan, the US and the UK.

February’s concert at the Grand Junction at St Mary Magdalene’s, Paddington, features six talented musicians.

Rahima Mahmut

The group’s lead singer Rahima comes from a large Uyghur family with a strong musical tradition that she has kept that alive in exile.

She has composed songs from the poems of persecuted Uyghur writers, and her music has been featured in news documentaries highlighting the plight of her people.

Rachel Harris  

A Professor of Ethnomusicology at SOAS, Rachel’s research focuses on Central Asia‚ especially on Uyghur musical and religious heritage. She has spent long periods in East Turkestan, where she learned the dutar with master musicians Musajan Rozi, Yasin Muhpul and Abdulla Majnun.

She is the author of several books including Making a Musical Canon: The Uyghur Twelve Muqam. She leads the British Academy funded Uyghur Meshrep Project which supports efforts to revitalise Uyghur language and culture in Kazakhstan. Her latest ERC-funded project Maqām Beyond Nation focuses on musical connections across Asia.

Shohret Nur

Shohret is an outstanding young Uyghur musician and prize-winning performer, who specialises in Uyghur rawap and dutar plucked lutes. He is also a teacher, composer, and adept musical analyst with a particular focus on the Uyghur Twelve Muqam classical music repertoire.

In his day job, Shohret is a Research Assistant in the Department of Music at SOAS University of London. He had studied rawap performance at the prestigious Xinjiang Arts Institute, and furthered his musical education in Turkiye, earning an undergraduate degree in Music from Istanbul’s Minar University in 2019.

His compositions have been featured in films and international competitions, including the International Federation of Students, and Requiem for Justice.

Ahmet Ozan Baysal

Ahmet is a Turkish bağlama (saz) player, composer and performer, specialising in şelpe – an Anatolian bağlama performance technique that dispenses with a plectrum. Having played the instrument from a very early age, much of his music is a synthesis of traditional bağlama şelpe performance and harmonic practices in tonal and jazz music.

He has performed throughout Europe, including at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in Marseille, Nuoro Jazz Festival in Sardinia, and Making Tracks International Music Exchange Programme in the UK.

Imogen Faux

Imogen plays classical and folk violin. From a family of music composers and performers, she was influenced early on by the folk traditions of the British Isles.

Study and work took Imogen across the Arab World, where she played, performed and worked with artists from Egypt and Morocco. Now she practices music from across North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Li Cheong  

Born in Macau, Li grew up in Hong Kong, earning a Master of Music (Composition) from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2004. He learned erhu (Chinese two-stringed violin) with Ms. Hsin Hsiao-ling. He furthered his studies at the University of York and earned his PhD in Music (Composition) in 2014.

As an erhu performer, he has played together with Portuguese singer Conan Osiris and the folk rock group Quid in 2017-19. He first met the London Silk Road Music Collective in 2014 and learnt to play Uyghur ghijek.

A stand against genocide

The Miras Silk Road Collective is committed to promoting and defending the rich musical culture and history of the Uyghur people.

The concert is being held ‘in honour of the resilience of the Uyghur people’ who face genocide from the Chinese government.

Uyghurs have endured severe repression and crackdowns imposed by the Chinese government for decades, which escalated to genocide in 2016.

Concert Details

Title: The Miras Silk Road Collective

Date: Thursday 15 February 2024

Time:  concert starts 8pm

Venue: Grand Junction at St Mary Magdalene’s, Rowington Close, Paddington, London W2 5TF

Admission: £20.20

Tickets: buy online from Dice.fm