In 2009, after the release of their second LP Tell No Lies, musicians Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara performed stripped down versions of their songs in our studios. Adams is a guitarist and veteran of the British punk and world music scenes. Camara is a griot singer from Gambia who plays a one-stringed fiddle called the ritti.
They began collaborating after a friend gave Juldeh some of Justin’s music, and the songs made quite an impression. The two have worked together on three albums that combine American Blues with West African rhythms, including this year’s In Trance. The duo currently records under the moniker JuJu.
And last year two Chicago musicians introduced us to the oud, a fretless stringed instrument from the Middle East that dates back centuries.
Majed Abu Ajamia plays with the Duzan Ensemble and teaches the oud at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Issa Boulos is a composer and lyricist who directs the Middle East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago.