Living in the South West of England for almost two decades, she was born and grew up in Turkey. A country rich in many different ethnic musical influences, Sevilay has always been interested in music and singing as part of her culture. She didn’t have any training in music but during her university education she attended voice classes and sang at various choirs and student bands.

Missing her home country since she moved to U.K. with her two friends she started the band - The Orient Express in 2012 and has been playing and singing traditional folk songs from around Turkey and beyond with her band.

She has been one of the regulars to Middle Eastern Music Festival since she met Maren Lueg and Chas Whitaker in 2013 and performed with the band Souk Bab El Louk in 2013 at Glastonbury Festival.

Very recently she started to sing with the Hazir Band and will be performing and teaching her singing workshops with the band members.

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Algerian-born Abdelkader Saadoun is a renowned master of RAI music – which originates from traditional Algerian music (Chaabi, Kabil, Gnawa and Chawia) and also encompasses Pop, Flamenco, Jazz, Funk, Rock, Reggae, Fusion, and Blues. Based in London, he is a composer, singer song writer, educator and plays Oud, Mandola, Percussion and Drums. A formidable band leader with a great track record in bringing together musicians from diverse cultures to create dynamic live gigs which combine these different musical stylings to extraordinary effect.

Abdelkader has performed for Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and The Amir Of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al – Thani, her Majesty Prince And Princes Darenberg of Austria.

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Bland is a Kurdish musician from the North of Iraq, where he mastered Oud, Kemenche ( Spike Fiddle ) and the Duduk. He relocated to the UK and studied at several academic institutions and is currently completing his PhD in Music and Media. He has worked with many artists and musicians from different cultures expanding his knowledge regarding their art and music.

He has performed at many prestigious venues and events including the 21st International Tartu Early Music Festival "Orient et Occident",Vilnius, Kaunas and Warsaw. He also had a residency alongside Maren Lueg at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon for their Arabian Nights show.

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Maren started her musical education from an early age in Germany. Initially trained in western music, she focused her studies on jazz and Middle Eastern music. Maren passed her Masters in Near and Middle Eastern Music Performance in 2010 with Merit at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Over the last 7 years Maren has studied Turkish and Arabic Ney flute with international recognised Masters of Ney such as Wadie Nossier (Cairo/London), Mohammed Antar (Cairo), Dr.Kadry Sorour (Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt), Ömer Erdoğdular (Istanbul), Murat Ferhat Yeguel (Konya State Conservatuary), Çağin Aydin (Istanbul), Mutlu Yilmazer (Turkey).
Maren has worked as a theatre musician specialised in Arabic Wind Instruments for the Arabian Nights Show at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon and she regularly teaches Ney and Middle Eastern Music at Summer Schools and Universities in the UK.

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Hailing from Casablanca in Morocco, Nawarra studied Arts and Drama at University before taking the opportunity in 1996 to come to the UK to continue her studies in Leeds. In Morocco she was a member of various theatre groups specialising in comedy and sketch-shows and she worked with some of the top Moroccan comedians. She loves to entertain and brings her passion, high energy and sense of fun to every performance.

Being so far away from home, North Africa has never ceased calling out to her specifically the traditional music and folk dances which had so fascinated her as a child. She began to use these influences as a way of expressing herself and to form friendships in a land of strangers. She found that Leeds had an emerging interest in Middle Eastern dance, but the information forthcoming was second hand and lacking teachers actually from North Africa and the Middle East. She began to share what she knew and from these small beginnings has gone on to become one of the UK’s most recognised teachers and performers, with a growing international reputation. She naturally focuses on dances from North Africa ( The Maghreb ) but also teaches Egyptian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Iraqi and Gulf Styles.

Nawarra has taken part in the UK’s top Bellydance Festivals:
Jewel of Yorkshire, Majma, Belly Dance Congress, Raqs Britannia, Belly dance Mania, Pycoob Festival, Sirocco and Shimmy By-The-Sea as well being invited regularly to teach in bellydance communities around the U.K. She also appears regularly at the Liverpool Arab Arts Festivals and London's Planet Egypt.
Nawarra has also been invited to take part at various festivals abroad including Spain, Germany, Croatia, Ireland, Japan, France, Israel and Russia and has appeared at the
Musica Rouhiya Festival in Fes, and at Mediterranean Delight in Marrakesh, Morocco. She is also regularly invited to participate on various judging panels at Bellydance competitions including Miss Bellydance U.K. and JOY ( Jewel Of Yorkshire ). Most recently she has been invited to Nizhny Novgorod to help find Russia's latest dance stars, at Petrozovodsk in Russia. She has also set up a flourishing travel agency, taking dancers from all over the world to experience the sights, sounds, people and culture of her beloved Morocco first hand.

Nawarra is well known for her high energy and joy which she brings in to any event,. So she has become one the main wedding dancers in the UK and abroad. Recently she was invited to perform at a wedding in Tunis as well as Tel Aviv with a well-known Moroccan family.

In 2012 she realised a dream of producing a theatre show dedicated entirely to the folkloric dances of the Middle East. She demonstrated that there is so much more to love about Arabic Dance than the glittery world of Cabaret Bellydance. Nawarra co-founded the
"Funoon" company; a new venture spreading access to traditional Middle Eastern dance. It's aim is to introduce Arabic music as well as Arabic language through acting and the folkloric dance. So far there has been interest from various Arabian media including BBC Arabic, Aljazeera Alarabiya and the Al Ghad Alarabi Channel

Nawarra hopes that
"Funoon" will go on to become an inspiration and ongoing resource for British dancers as well as a source of pleasure and pride for people of Arabian descent coming to or growing up in the UK.

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