Every year World Music Forum NL offers an exciting selection of promising Dutch talent handpicked by a jury.

In the Spotlight 2019 – 2020
Dr. Jordan Institute
Magda Mendes 
Mehmet Polat & Embracing Colours.
In the Spotlight 2018 – 2019
Altin Gün
Nizar Rohana Trio
Arp Frique & Family
Shishani & Namibian Tales
Lingua Franca Ensemble
Son Swagga
In the Spotlight 2017 – 2018
In the Spotlight 2016 – 2017


In the Spotlight 2019/2020

This time handpicked by jurymembers Frank Bolder (progammer LantarenVenster, North Sea Jazz), Miriam Brenner (manager Kokako Music) and Charlie Crooijmans (independent music journalist).

Their choice: Dr. Jordan Institute, Magda Mendes and Mehmet Polat & Embracing Colours.
Although each plays a different melody, they all represent a typical sound from the Dutch delta. Challenging crossovers between different streams becoming new rivers for the future.

Dr. Jordan Institute

Want something new? This is it! What about John Dowland (1563-1626) recording in Studio One/ Jamaica or Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) for Blue Note/ New York? Dr. Jordan Institute delivers the best recipe: a hot shot of wild electronics, afro-caribbean vitamines and classical vocals.

album: Jab Jab (2019)


Magda Mendes

Mariza’s urban fado finds its counterpart in Magda’s pastoral approach. She discloses the world of fading fados while selling olive oil from the ancestral family orchard. Accompanied by scenic soundscapes of winds, guitar and percussion Magda Mendes reminds us of a Portuguese countryside in peril.

album: Oliveiras (2018)
artistic leader/ manager: Magda Mendes
+ 31 6 156 173 05



Mehmet Polat & Embracing Colours

Mehmet Polat is a young ud-master and composer from Turkey, living in Amsterdam. His latest project Embracing Colours forms a brand new constellation of ud, drums, bass and accordion. “A perfect combination of folk and jazz- chapeau!”; “A small miracle happens, their music seems timeless”.

Album: Quantum Leap
manager: Muzaffer Gülşen
+31 6 245 928 59


The Dutch World Spotlight Artists 2018 – 2019: 

Altin Gün
Nizar Rohana Trio
Arp Frique & Family
Shishani & Namibian Tales
Lingua Franca Ensemble
Son Swagga

Listen to the spotlights on: Soundcloud

The Dutch World Spotlight Artists 2018 – 2019 have been handpicked by:  

Charlie Crooijmans – VPRO Vrije Geluiden/ MixedWorld Music.com 
Danka van Dodewaard – Amsterdam Roots Festival 
Franscis de Souza – Houtfestival/ Earthbeat 
Hanyo van Oosterom – Podium Grounds


Altin Gün  
Seventies Istanbeats  


Altin Gün (Golden day) present an exciting mix of Turkish pop with anglo-american psychedelica, funk and rock. Fascinated by Turkish 70’s artists like Erkin Koray, Barış Manço and Selda bandleader Jasper Verhulst created his own Istanbeats. Altın Gün play songs from their heroes and perform new arrangements of old Turkish traditionals. 

However their foremost inspiration is Neşet Ertaş, a Turkish folk favourite whose musical legacy is invaluable to them. Altin Gün retain the lyrical and thematic structure of Ertaş’s songs, though they often alter their time signatures while adding fuzzy bass, sweltering organ and raw saz riffs. After releasing several singles and EP’s, On became their album debut.  

Merve Dasdemir – vocals
Erdinc Yildiz Ecevit – keys, saz, vocals
Gino Groeneveld – percussion
Ben Rider – guitar
Daniel Smienk – drums
Jasper Verhulst – bass 

album: On (2018)
contact: Jeroen van den Bogert  jeroen@blipagency.com  +31 6 2064 5346
                Ronald Keizer ronald@blipagency.com +31 6 5362 8277
site: www.facebook.com/altingunband/ 


Arp Frique & Family
colourful world into one groove 

The Colourful world of Arp Frique is the debut album of keyboard player/ producer Niels Nieuborg from Rotterdam. The cosmopolitan mix of this harbour city is reflected in Arp Frique’s pulsating fuse of disco vibes with Dutch Caribbean and Cape Verdean grooves. Their alter ego both refers to the sound of the Arp-synths and Chic’s Le freak. At the same time the band gives a wink to Sly & The Family Stone because of its exciting performances which guarantee instant danceability with a touch of weirdness. To Nieuborg, family also means a wide range of guest musicians who contribute to the album or play- whenever it fitsat Arp Frique’s live gigs. Such as Cape Verdean legend Americo Brito, Dutch Surinam’s famous flutist Ronald Snijders, Brazil boy Ed Motta or afrobeat pioneer Orlando Julius. Indeed, a colourful world into one groove. 

album: Welcome To The Colourful World Of Arp Frique (2018)
contact: Jeroen van den Bogert  jeroen@blipagency.com  +31(0)6-2064.5346
                Ronald Keizer ronald@blipagency.com +31 6 5362 8277
site: www.arpfrique.com 


Lingua Franca Ensemble  
One journey, many moods
offWomex 2018 Dutch World Stage


Odyssey alike Lingua Franca navigates the Mediterranean Sea, however theirs concerns a musical wandering. They cover the rich eastern Mediterranean traditions and fuse these with Western musical influences into stunningly soundscapes. The account of their discoveries resulted in the highly acclaimed debut album Ephemera. Just as a photograph captures images, Lingua Franca uses music to frame emotions that are normally condemned to fleeting transience. From the flash of amusement in a carefree child, to moments of longing due to separation, to the stages one passes from grief to acceptance. Their repertoire speaks a lingua franca, a universal language that every listener connects and moreover… profoundly moves. 

Michalis Cholevas- neytarhu
Michalis Kouloumis- violin
Giannis Koutis- guitar, oud, vocals
Ruven Ruppik- marimba, percussion 

album: Ephemera (2017)
contact: Michalis Cholevas  info@linguafrancaensemble.com
site: www.linguafrancaensemble.com 


Nizar Rohana Trio
Meeting of maestros 

Palestinian born Nizar Rohana is one of the world’s leading ud players. He is based in The Netherlands and distinguished for combining virtuosity with fresh contemporary compositions, while maintaining the ud’s authentic language.  Raised in a musical family he picked up the ud at 13. Following extensive studies Rohana immersed himself in developing contemporary ud compositions, taking inspiration from Bach and Brahms all the way to Tanburi Cemil Bey and Muhammad Al-Qasabji. Rohana’s wide stage experience encompasses traditional, experimental and world music. In 2013 he formed his own trio with Hungarian double bass player Matyas Szandai (who a.o. accompanied Archie Shepp and Chic) and French-Lebanese percussion virtuoso Wassim Halal. Their debut album Furāt reflects the highest quality of flow, captured through the image of the Euphrates River. Spiritual silence has a name, called: Nizar Rohana Trio. 

Wassim Halal- percussion
Nizar Rohana- ud
Matyas Szandai- double bass

album: Furāt / Euphrates (2016)
contact: Nizar Rohana info@nizarrohana.com
site: www.nizarrohana.com


Shishani & Namibian Tales
Between desert & delta  


Shishani is a talented singer-songwriter with Namibian and Belgian roots who mainly grew up in the Netherlands. Influenced by Afro-American and African music her vocal style developed into a unique sound nourished by a strong social consciousness. With percussionist/ producer Sjahin During, cellist Bence Huszar and kora-player Debby Korfmacher she founded Namibian Tales, an acoustic quartet diving into the musical traditions of Namibia. In 2017 they travelled the Kalahari Desert to collaborate with women from the San (Bushmen) community. Together they recorded the album Kalahari Encounters, lyrics both sung in English and Oshiwambo, Shishani’s native tongue. Their 2018 European tour with four San female singers turned into a huge succes with sold-out venues. 

Sjahin During – percussion
Bence Huszar – cello
Debby Korfmacher – korambiravocals
Shishani Vranckx- guitar, vocals 

albums: Itaala (2016), Kalahari encounters (2017) 
contact: Sjahin During  info@sjahinduring.com
site: www.namibiantales.com 


Son Swagga
Streetwise & soundproof
offWomex 2018  Dutch World Stage

In urban street slang swagga means “One’s own unique style or personality that sets them apart from anyone else”. Turned into sound you get Son Swagga, a psychedelic fusion ensemble based in Amsterdam. Composer/ bandleader Felix Back teamed up with members from groups such as Jungle By Night and Gallowstreet. With transcedential grooves and eclectic improvisations they bring a new breed of instrumental music to the world. Expect a mix of Sun Ra, Fela Kuti and Weather Report meeting videogame-music. Longing for “A sound that has never been heard before” Son Swagga seeks new uncharted territories pushing the boundaries of their musicianship.  

Felix Back - keys
Robin Engelhard – electric guitar
Azubike Onwuka - electric bass
Jonathan Szegedi - drums
Andrius Dereviancenko -  tenor sax
Bo Floor - trumpet
Dirk Zandvliet - baritone sax
Alex van Abeelen - trombone 

album: Fires of Quidel (2017)
contact: benmakkes@gmail.com
site: www.sonswagga.com 


Floorfilling Funaná 
offWomex 2018 Dutch World Stage

Tabanka is a young Cape Verdean group from Rotterdam, whose music has been inspired by older Cape Verdean artists such as Américo Brito and Bitori. The seven-piece band has a fresh take on funaná. This upbeat festive music and dance style, once forbidden by the Portuguese colonial rulers, became part of post-independence Cape Verdean identity in the 80’s. Funaná derived from descendants of slaves, mixed with contemporary pop and jazz. The base of funaná are the diatonic accordion (gaita) and the rasping sound of the ferrinho, a notched metal bar played as a Caribbean guiro. Tabanka is famous for its exuberant live shows on which it is impossible not to dance. 

Ampario Gomes Ferreira- gaita, lead vocals
Djeison Gomes Ferreira- bass
Jerry Gomes Ferreira- percussion 
Nelson Gomes Ferreira- ferrinho
Aristoteles Roberto Nascimento- drums
Arlindo Silva Timas- percussion
Orlando Soares Neves- guitar   

album: Spertador (2018)
contact: Francis de Souza  francis@earthbeat.nl  +31-(0)20-627.9518 
site: www.facebook.com/tabankaofficial