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  • Jonathan Widran


In any other era, a band like Kuwaisiana would be thought of as capturing the inspiring multi-cultural ideals of the American Spirit. They’re a powerhouse indie band fusing the intense grooves and quick-simmering sizzle of New Orleans brass/funk, the soulful lilt of reggae, the blistering vocal and musical energy of indie rock and Middle Eastern sensibilities centered on themes relevant to today’s Muslim culture.

Considering our current socio-political climate, the joyful noise made by the NOLA-based seven piece juggernaut whose name is a portmanteau of frontman +Aziz’s Kuwaiti background and his Louisiana home - transcends what should be simple, engaging fun and thought-provoking storytelling about Arab-American youth.

These nine songs of varying tempos and sung alternately in English and Arabic serve as a defiant call to use the power of music to overcome stereotypes and xenophobia. In forming the ensemble in 2016, +Aziz began with the unique idea to merge Louisiana’s musical heritage with his own Middle Eastern identity.

If you love the music of New Orleans and are “woke” enough to embrace it as the foundation of a fusion with Arabian culture, Kuwaisiana will be quite the rewarding musical experience. Sung in formal Arabic, the rambunctious, reggae tinged current single “Murra” draws a metaphorical connection between life and the bittersweet taste of coffee.

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