Formed in the 1980s Dur-Dur Band was one of the most famous groups in Mogadishu’s music scene. Known as Somalia’s “last great party band,” they disbanded when the civil war forced the musicians into exile.
The Cedar reunited seven of the remaining band members during this 2014 residency to revive their high-energy synth-pop sound that has influences of American funk, disco, soul and West African music.
Saturday, November 8th 2014
Acoustic Lobby Set before “Tales of Home: Congo/Mozambique,” a contemporary dance performance featuring Faustin Linyekula and Panaibra Gabriel Canda
Dur-Dur band played an acoustic-only mini-performance in the lobby of Walker Art Center.
7:20pm at Walker Art Center
Sunday, November 9th 2014
Pop-up Performance at Art Attack – NKB’s Open Studios and Gallery Crawl
2:00pm at Northrup King Building
Monday, November 10th 2014
Mini-performance + Discussion – “Popular Music and Social Change in the African Context” featuring members of Dur-Dur Band and Mohamed Sallam, Director of Augsburg’s Pan-Afrikan Center
5:30pm at Augsburg College
Tuesday, November 11th 2014
Midnimo Information Tabling with appearances by band members
11:00am at Augsburg College Christensen Center
Dur-Dur Band Classroom Visit – US Foreign Policy with faculty member Sarah Combellick-Bidney
Noon at Augsburg College
Dur-Dur Band Classroom Visit – Theater Department with faculty members Sarah Myers and Darcey Engen
1:50pm at Augsburg College
Living Room Concert
7:30pm, Private Residence
In the middle of their residency, Dur-Dur Band performed an intimate, acoustic Living Room concert at the home of Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier. About 70 people attended the event to create a wonderful crowd of young, old, Somalis, and non-Somalis. We ate sambusas and fried bananas from Afro Deli, made new friends, and listened to some amazing music.
Wednesday, November 12th 2014
Conversation + Mini-performance for Students and Families
10:00am at Seward Montessori School
Somali Cultural Night
7:30pm at The Cedar Cultural Center
Hosted by Shanta Link to support scholarships for Somali youth
Thursday, November 13th 2014
Midnimo Information Tabling with appearances by band members
11:00am-2pm at Augsburg College
Give to the Max Day Student Study Break Dance Party
4:30pm at Midcontinent Oceanographic Institute
Dur-Dur Band Classroom Visit – Transcultural Health Care with faculty members Katherine Baumgartner and Cheryl Leuning
6:30pm at Augsburg College
Mini-performance following a reading with Somali author Nuruddin Farah from his book “Hiding in Plain Sight”
7:00pm at Open Book
Friday, November 14th 2014
Performance at Augsburg College Fine Arts Convocation
10:00am at Augsburg College
“On November 14, Augsburg College hosted its annual Humanities and Fine Arts Convocation, featuring the Somali musical group, Dur Dur Band.
As the convocation attendees sat quietly in their seats, five of the band members and two Augsburg musicians proceeded to delight listeners with the opening song. For those in the attendance, there were a variety of reactions to the music. The majority of the audience members remained seated and reserved, soaking in music that presented a unique cultural spin in the chapel. Some looked on with curious fascination while tapping their feet under their seats. Before the performance ended, several people stood up and danced to the mildly upbeat, soul and funk-inspired rhythms.
Visually stunning and clad in traditional garments, the female vocalist engaged the audience with her technical vocal abilities and fluid stage presence. Another band member entertained those in the chapel with his robust solo. In a call and response-type of style, he stirred listeners by signaling everyone to clap their hands. Many of them happily joined in.
At the close of the musical performance, attendees were invited to participate in a question and answer session. Some questions addressed the artistic development of the band such as: who inspired them, what they called their dance moves, and why the band used to perform American cover songs. Other questions surfaced about the group’s religious beliefs and how that affected the band members as artists.
The music performance and dialogue with the band members at Hoversen Chapel provided an opportunity for everyone to engage in harmonious fellowship. In addition, the experience opened doors to future possibilities of respectful cross-cultural engagement without geographical and religious boundaries.”
Dur-Dur Band Classroom Visit – Music Department with faculty member Merilee Klemp
11:10am at Augsburg College
Dur-Dur Band Residency Finale Concert with Black Market Brass and DJ Soft Abuse.
8:00pm at The Cedar
“On November 14, the Dur-Dur band concluded their weeklong Midnimo residency with a crowd-pleasing performance at The Cedar. The room filled quickly with listeners geared up for the disco and funk-inspired songs of the group coined, “Somalia’s last great party band.” After an absence spanning two decades from the music scene, the group reunited for a full house of eager fans and new listeners unfamiliar with the band’s fame.
The Black Market Brass band opened up the evening. Tantalizing listeners’ ears with their unconventional synthesis of African and jazz instrumentation, the floor quickly became the scene of people pumped up, ready to dance.
As the Dur-Dur Band members ascended the stage, audience members from around the room could be heard expressing their excitement. Ugas, a community member, stated that he remembered getting to hear the Dur-Dur Band in Somalia at the age of seven. He smiled and said that he looked forward to being entertained musically, but that he also expected “to laugh.” He remembered that the band members were great at pulling the audience into the performance with their showmanship.
The reunion of this great band had a sentimental effect on a local millennial. He had frequently moved to various cities since arriving in the United States. The band’s music represented a “grounding” for him so that he could feel at home.
The band employed a variety of high and low tempo sounds that kept listeners engrossed. However, the element that sparked a strong response and ignited the evening was the familiarity with the songs. Audience members seemed compelled to sing. One woman in the seated area waved her arms in the air while belting out every word of the second and third songs. During the solo sung by Sahra Dawo, a group of Somali women assembled in a corner, hugging and dancing in a tight-knit cluster. Several other listeners were cited on the dance floor frolicking with a nostalgic recollection of music that touched their hearts.
A local college student who was unfamiliar with the Dur-Dur band, stood up to dance during the song “Dooyo,” stating that she didn’t know the language, but that she couldn’t sit down during the lively guitar dominated song. The traditional call and response techniques interwoven throughout the performance pieces excited both new listeners and those familiar with every word of the synth-pop sound.”
Dur Dur Band Interview
In this interview by Universal TV, Dur-Dur band mentions how amazing live music is, and how it changes the audience’s experience. They also encourage Somali singers to sing live, in the hopes that the work they’ve done will open new doors of opportunities for the Somali singers that come after them.
Monday, November 17th 2014
Artists Meet and Greet and Cedar Happy Hour
6:00pm at Nomad World Pub