Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Les Nuits Botanique presents ‘Love in Exile’ jazz concert in Laeken on 9 May

Love in Exile album concert Les Nuits Botanique
11:48 02/05/2023

Love in Exile is a beautifully harmonious jazz project by American-Pakistani singer-songwriter Arooj Aftab, pianist Vijay Iyer and synth player Shahzad Ismaily.

The trio perform the album in an exclusive concert at the atmospheric Notre-Dame church in Laeken on 9 May as part of the annual Les Nuits Botanique music festival.

A deliberately minimalist and collaborative work, it showcases each of the musicians talent while together creating singular, gorgeous sounds.

Individually, they have each earned numerous accolades. Aftab was the first Pakistani to win a Grammy, Iyer is one of today’s most influential pianists and multi-instrumentalist Ismaily’s sensitivity and technical acumen has gained him legendary status among other musicians.

The trio formed in 2018 and honed their unique soundscapes via improvised live shows. It was backstage after their debut show in their adopted hometown of New York, that  Ismaily asked Aftab and Iyer to reflect on what had just occurred. “We felt it from the first moment,” recalls Iyer. “We were mystified and almost silent and said: I don’t know what just happened. But we should do that again.”

Love in Exile is an equally intuitive work with seven undulating textured compositions. It’s a continuation of Aftab’s musical journey involving reimagined Urdu verse and ghazals (Arabic verses of loss and longing) that have increasingly entered the minimalist realm by eschewing traditional accompanying classical instruments.

It follows her breakthrough album, the 2021 Grammy-winning Vulture Prince, which drew on her multicultural musical roots and personal grief after the death of her younger brother. After a decade of writing and performing, the success of the album enabled Aftab to finally become a full-time musician.

Love in Exile
9 May, 19.30
Notre-Dame de Laeken church
Place Notre-Dame 17

Written by The Bulletin