The ensemble’s name was inspired from an ancient Middle Eastern percussion instrument called “Nakaira”, similar in form to the Indian tabla. Although the name claims oriental origins, Nakaira’s initial artistic expectations and aims – after the group’s official foundation in 1999 – was to reinstate and promote the Celtic and Irish folk music in Sicily (Italy), where the majority of the members come from.
After their first public performances in festivals of local significance in Sicily, in January 2000 Nakaira released their first CD titled “Musiche a danzare tra oriente e occidente”, which was soon successfully welcomed on international level. This movement was Nakaira’s initial step in gaining wide public acceptance, followed by their participation in numerous musical seasons as well as in national and international music festivals (recent participations in music festivals in France, Yemen, Austria and UK), where they were enthusiastically embraced by both the audience and the music critics. In 2002, Nakaira worked together with the Italian director Guglielmo Ferro and upheld the musical part of the theatrical comedy Much Ado about Noothing by William Shakespeare. In the following year the group was able to release its second CD album, this time under the title “Onde sonore dal Mediterraneo”.
Their show is a route along the musics and dances of the Mediterranean, displaying mutual influences from both Greek and Sicilian musical traditions for an evocative performance full of excitement that originates from the innovating and unique on stage combination of a variety of folk and contemporary musical instruments such as, Greek and Irish bouzouki, violin, gaida, accordion, oud. Within the context of the prevailed “World Music” market, where the fusion of ethnic and modern sounds creates a unique multilingual musical landscape, Nakaira’s artistic creations move indeed beyond any cultural or temporal boundaries, in an experience which vitalizes the old and nurtures the new. Their multi-flavoured and vivid music explorations reflect a creative and experimental dialogue with the living music traditions, mostly depicting the Mediterranean soundscapes, fact that is moreover reinforced by the group’s multi-ethnic constitution of both Italian and Greek musicians.