LATEST UPDATE: New blog by Dunya Habash: The Sounds and Sights of Interfaith Promise

Open Music Night with the Rivers of Babylon

26th October, 2017 @ 19:00

The Woolf Institute, Madingley Road


On the 26th October at 7pm, the Woolf Institute is delighted to host its first open music evening. Rivers of Babylon are a music group formed in 1999 by Sara Manasseh, an ethnomusicologist in the Iraqi (Babylonian) music tradition.They have been featured in BBC World Service broadcasts, in items from the liturgical repertoire, such as rousing hymns sung during the Penitential prayers for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippûr) at the synagogue.

Many of the founding members of the group were born into the Baghdadian Jewish community in India (Bombay and Calcutta), thus representing a cultural tradition which was transported from Iraq to India and now to the UK. Its main focus is Songs of Praise (Shbaḥoth) in the Babylonian (Iraqi) Jewish tradition. In addition to Iraqi Jewish song, Rivers of Babylon performs songs in Arabic, Middle Eastern instrumentals, songs in the Bene Israel (Indian Jewish) tradition in Hebrew and Marâṭhi (the language of the state of Maharashtra, India) and vintage Bollywood classics in Hindi.

This is a free event and everyone is welcome. However, space is limited - please arrive early to avoid any disappointment.

For any further information please contact:

Rivers of Babylon CDs, including items from their 7-city tour of India are available here:

Back to Events