Cancelled: AAR MAANTA with special guests

The Cedar Presents

Cancelled: AAR MAANTA with special guests

Fri, October 13, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Cedar Cultural Center - Midnimo

Minneapolis, MN

$15 Advance / $20 Day of show


This event is all ages

The Cedar is very disappointed to announce that Aar Maanta's upcoming October Midnimo residency in Minneapolis, St. Cloud, and Mankato has been canceled due to visa delays.

Read the full press release here


Aar Maanta
Aar Maanta
If Aar Maanta’s family and community had their way, the artist who is today considered to be the voice of the new Somali generation would have become a scientist. However, due to his passion and willpower, he is today revered as one of the most creative and talented Somali musician both in the Horn of Africa and the diaspora. After the challenges of an uprooted childhood and resettlement, Aar had to overcome further obstacles to arrive at this point in his career, not least the disapproval of music and performance by his conservative family.

Despite studying music at school, Aar Maanta ended up completing a science degree. After graduation, his passion for music took over and he began “Horn 2 Groove,” his own studio recording project through which he released his 2009 debut album Hiddo & Dhaqan. The album brought traditional Somali music together with Western musical influences like house and reggae into a fusion described as Afro-hop. In 2010, Paris based radio station StarAfrica recognised Aar Maanta’s achievements in creating this new sound, when it named him a “Somali Culture Shaper in London.” Lyrically Aar Maanta’s songs are written in the traditional Somali poetic form using allegory and alliteration to address issues of relevance to Somali immigrants. As a result, Ahmed “Hudeydi” Ismail Hussein, a master oud player and one of Somali music’s greatest composers as well as Hassan Aadan Samatar, an iconic lead singer of Somalia’s now defunct national theatre Waaberi, have endorsed Aar’s music as the bridge that links the old musical generation to the new one.

Aar Maanta’s growing appreciation for live music and the lack of it in the industry, led him to form his band, The Urban Nomads. A multinational and multi-talented collective which consist of Italian bass player Ruth Goller, British/Caribbean saxophonist and keyboard player Josh Cutler, French guitarist and sound engineer Thibaut Remy, and Nepalese/Scottish drummer Pharoah Smeaton Russell. Each member of the band brings a unique musical knowledge and background to the mix to create a distinct sound that reflects the diversity of Aar’s musical influences. Aar Maanta’s band has performed numerous shows including his Fall 2013 UK debut tour, which was also the first by any Somali musical act. On the last night of the tour, Tony Benjamin of Bristol Post summed it up, saying, “The band’s sound is nicely dominated by articulate hand drum and swooning sax/guitar interplay, the rhythms varying from slinky North African to choppy reggae and a couple of grandstand funk numbers, with Aar Maanta’s soulful vocals soaring over them all. It’s a fine voice, too, with the dusty echo of desert dust colouring the sweetness of his tone. The dancing women seem to know all the words and greet each number with whoops of recognition, culminating in a fine encore of album title track “Hiddo & Dhaqan” that starts in the Somali desert, slips easily to the Caribbean before rounding off in a New York disco. Aar Maanta is an accomplished performer and this music deserves the wider audience that next year’s festival season should surely give him.”

Aar Maanta has headlined The Ecotricity Stage of Womad in Summer 2014, and in April 2015 had his first sold-out show. At the end of a week-long residency at Minnesota’s premier world music venue, The Cedar, over 700 people were in attendance and included Somali community members, Augsburg College students, and other music fans. In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, Cedar Executive Director Adrienne Dorn said that when choosing a Somali artist-in-residence, Aar Maanta was the first one to come to mind. “He is one of the only — if not the only — Somali musical artist who has his own live band. He’s forging a path.” Following the performance, Chris Riemenschneider of Minneapolis’ Star Tribune said, “A textbook example of what makes The Cedar special occurred again Saturday when Somali singer Aar Maanta returned to the worldly Minneapolis West Bank venue. The London-based singer packed the room with many Somali residents from the neighbourhood, plus students from nearby colleges and hippies from the Cedar’s past — all of whom danced along excitedly to his jagged grooves.” “I’m surprised to see so many non-Somalis,” Aar Maanta said from stage. “There’s been a revival in Somali music, you can see it here at the Cedar.”

Recognized for his engagement with social causes and education, in 2017, he was selected by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to participate in a multilingual music video campaign called Dangerous Crossings to spread awareness about the dangers faced by immigrants attempting to cross the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea from Africa into Yemen. The video was directed by Hollywood producer George Acogny and Egyptian director Amr Salama in collaboration with the International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA) in Monaco. Most recently in April, Aar was one of five international Somali artists to be honored by Oslo’s House of Literature for creating new standards for how to write literature and innovatively carrying on their history and culture.

With The Urban Nomads, Aar Maanta hopes to take his music not only to the Somali diaspora, but also to the wider community with an album in the works to be released in 2017. Both the EP and the album will be historical in being the first Somali recordings in decades to feature a live band.
Venue Information:
Cedar Cultural Center - Midnimo
416 Cedar Ave S
Minneapolis, MN, 55454


Ticket options and info

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets are not always available at Depth of Field, Electric Fetus & The Cedar.

Check the top of this page under the “Buy Tickets” button for up-to-date ticket information.

  • Phone: 612-338-2674 ext 0 between 12 noon and 4pm M-F ($2 fee per ticket)
  • In person: Tickets can be purchased at The Cedar when we are open for shows. Check our calendar for show dates and door times  (no fee; cash, check, credit card). Our other ticket outlets are Depth of Field (no fee; cash or check only), and Electric Fetus (approximately $2 fee).
  • Online: (On Ticketfly, typically $2–$3 fee/ticket + $1 restoration fee) until 2 hours before door time on day of show
  • The Cedar is an all ages venue
  • Discounts: Students with ID, seniors over 65, and children under 12 may purchase tickets at a discount at the door (subject to ticket availability).
  • Access: The Cedar strives to make our facilities and programming available to as many community members as possible and will accommodate special requests to the best of our ability. To request special accommodations or seating at an upcoming Cedar show, please contact our box office at 612-338-2674 or