Lamajamal's sound is a unique blend of Balkan, Gypsy, Arabic and North African dance music. Their exciting live performances feature middle eastern vocals, serpentine clarinet melodies, exotic instruments and infectious dance beats.
Like their name, a palindrome derived from the Arabic word for beauty, these five creative musicians take the music of our global ancestors and turn it inside out creating something fresh and innovative yet true to its roots.
The group formed in 2004 after meeting for late night jam sessions at a belly dance store in Chicago. Since then they have played events such as the 2006-2008 Chicago World Music Fest, Chicago Turkish Festival, Milwaukee's Global Union fest, the Chicago Arabesque Festival, Chicago Cultural Center, CBS morning news, as well as prominent venues nationwide.
In 2007 Lamajamal released the album "Gypsy Surf", an edgy interpretation of Balkan and Arabic classics done on guitar, drum set, oud, clarinet and electric bass. Their follow up to Gypsy Surf, to be released this year, is a highly danceable blend of original music, and dance music from Turkey, the Balkans and the Middle East, recorded with a tasteful influence of urban production techniques such as dub and hip-hop.
In 2010, Lamajamal is pleased to release a compilation album entitled "Let's Go Gypsy Surf" as well as their follow up album entitled "Tsikago" . In addition to their original albums, the band will also soon be releasing, "Saazuk Saafar" (Journey of Instruments), an album of Kashmiri folk music which was commissioned by the Funkar International Organization for the purpose of the preservation of the Kashmiri language and culture.
“…Lamajamal is a band without borders." - Tony Sarabia, Chicago Public Radio
"…when they're on, they're on, arriving at a fuzzy, garagey take on Roma music thanks to a knack for sexy, serpentine grooves and a mean, mean oud player." - Monica Kendrick, Chicago Reader
“Lamajamal--it must be said--isn't a novelty act. Nor are they taking traditional Gypsy music and simply updating it. They take folk music from all over the world and they put their own spin on it. The response for what they have performed and released has been very encouraging.” - Pioneer Press
"So, here's my thumbs-up to Lamajamal for creating a fun and accessible musical experience that offers the full range of expression from silly to sophisticated. Some of the tight harmonies and culturally-mixed lines and phrases stopped me cold as I found myself transported to who-knows-where. The skill and confidence it takes to be that relaxed playing complex material can only be achieved through much hard effort. What ensemble work!” - Roxane Assaf, Public Relations, Chicago Arabesque