Bahdja sprang from the encounter between the breathing of Manuel Hermia and the horsehair of Kheireddine Mkachiche, accompanied here by their respective accomplices. On the confines of melodies, harmonies, rhythms and shared sensibilities, this album crosses borders to remind us that music is universal.
An improviser, composer and globetrotter of world music, Manuel Hermia has multiplied musical encounters with the Orient.
His new album «Bahdja» unveils a new encounter, that of the Algerian violinist Kheireddine Mkachiche, master of Arabic-Andalusian music and noted for his openness, a tradition he keeps alive by playing with Manuel Hermia. Algeria, due to its geographical location, has always been an inexhaustible source of cultural and musical encounters between the East, the West and deep Africa. «Bahdja» takes us there on a musical journey rich in emotions where moments of gentleness and intimacy meet the fiery groove of devilish solos.
“Bahdja” is a testimony to an encounter between musicians accustomed to navigating a multitude of styles, and who play to transgress these stylistic boundaries to remind us that music is One above all, just as our humanity is.

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Biography of Manuel Hermia

Improviser, composer and explorer of music from around the world all together, Manuel Hermia simultaneously expresses his discourse as a saxophonist and his love for bansuri. In addition to his saxophone and jazz harmony studies at the Conservatory, he has indeed developed a mastery of the bansuri – the flute from North-India. Besides, he has extended his knowledge of Indian and Arab music including ragas and maqams in a global thinking of music. Generally, he progressively incorporates into his language all the cultural elements that his course invites him to incorporate. He has also developed his own melodic-harmonic system with his theory called « rajazz », thus making a bridge between jazz and ragas, that is to say a tonal thinking and a modal thinking of music.
Manuel Hermia has simultaneously developed personal projects in several directions :
• In contemporary jazz with Manuel Hermia trio ( Long tales and short Stories, Igloo 2010, Octave for best jazz band in 2011) with the very adventurous Joao Lobo (drums) and ManoloCabras (double bass)
• Also with the trio Hermia/Ceccaldi/Darrifourcq. A UFO in the landscape, this trio with Sylvain Darrifourcq on drums and Valentin Ceccaldi on cello proposes a jazz both very accessible and without concessions.
• At a crossroads of musics, in the band Slang (Los Locos, Save the Chilis, It’s on the way, Karmasutra) for an ethno coltranian rock with his mates Michel Seba on percussions and François Garny on the bass.
• In a more ‘world’ perspective this time and only on the bansuri with « Whisper from the Orient » (vol 1 2005, and vol 2 in 2012 Igloo and Cristal/Harmonia Mundi),
• Manuel Hermia is also currently playing in Majid Bekkas Afro Oriental trio ( alqantara-igloo mondo, 2014 ), a project that is not his but which is very important for him.
On the European jazz scene, he has also played with Eric Vermeulen, Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, Bruno Castellucci, Sam Gertsmans, Jean-Paul Estévienart, LievenVenken, Salvatore La Rocca, Sylvain Romano, as well as with Pierre Van Dormael, Julien Tassin, Julien Herne, Kari Ikonen, OmriMor, Marcin Oles, Nono Garcia, Ramon Lopez, Jean-Pierre Froidebise, MaximeBlésin, Cécric Raymond, Greg Houben, Julien Charley, Emmanuel Duprey, and many more.
He has also accumulated creations with numerous artists from different cultures: Majid Bekkas ( oud and gembri, Morocco), Mamady Keita ( Djembe, Guinea ), Purbayan Chatterjee ( sitar , India), Dhruba Ghosh ( sarangi, India ), Manou Gallo ( bass, Ivory Coast ) GuoGan ( erhu,China ), Regis Gizavo ( accordion, Madagascar ), Mokoomba ( Zimbabwe ), Ben Ngabo ( Rwanda ), Joao Braga ( Brazil ), DobetGnahoré ( singing, Ivory Coast ), CumaliBulduk ( Turkey ), Mawaran ( singing, Lebanon ) , Yacir Rami ( oud, Morocco )…
He also appears as a guest in other horizons with Fred Wesley, Zap Mama, Didier Laloy, Karim Baggili, Salvatore Adamo, Sttellla, William Sheller, Khadja Nin, Dick Annegarn, Clarika , The Guilty Brothers Experience, Oxymore …

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Biography of Kheir-Eddine M’Kachiche

Born in Algiers, more precisely in the old district called Bab El-Oued, Kheireddine M’kachiche is a professional violinist who started his learning process in 1983. He took classes with Abdelkrim Mhamssadji, at the El Fakhardjia Association and with Harbit Rezki. In 1986, he integrates the pilot orchestra at the Conservatoire of Algiers and continues his training with Harbit Rezki. For years, participating in different projects, his favourite styles, i.e. the Andalusian, the hawzi and the chaâbi appeal to him. He collaborates with diverse Algerian artists of the same calibre as Rahma Boualem, Kamel Bourdib, Aziouz Raïs, Hamidou, Nadia Benyoucef, Naïma El Djazaïria, Karima Essaghira, and Samir Toumi…
In 1991 he opens up to the Algerian traditional musical repertoire including: chaoui, kabyle, gasba, melhoun, sahraoui, and gnawi… In 1994, he dedicates himself to raï music. It is the beginning of an adventure that leads to collaborations with well known artists like Cheb Hassan, Mohamed Lamine, Chaba Kheira, Houari Dauphin, Chaba Samira and he even participates to King Khaled’s album recording.
In 1997, after his encounter with the Moroccan singer Amina Aloui, he starts an international career. He integrates her group that performs in various festivals enabling him to travel all over Europe, Japan and the Middle East. In 2002, he participates to the adventure of “les Orientales”, a tribute given to the Algerian musical of the 1950’s leading to a tour in France, concerts in Algiers, and a CD and DVD with MK2.
The collaboration with in Amina Aloui in the Siwan project leads to an album recorded with ECM. Since 2007, Kheireddine M’kachiche is part of the jazz group from Algiers called Madar.
He has also collaborated with well-known jazz musicians such as Jon Hassel. Recently, he started to be interested in rock and jazz, realising interesting fusions. Different artists such as Cheikh Sidi Bémol, Jean Alain Roussel and his group The One…regularly invite him as a guest star.


Kheir-Eddine M’kachiche Violin (Algeria)
Manuel Hermia Saxophone & Bansuri (Belgium)
Zinou Kendour Piano (Algeria)
François Garny Electric Bass (Belgium)
Franck Vaillant Drums (France)


They talk about it

“For the last evening, the Bahdja group, born from a cultural and artistic encounter between the Algerian violinist, Kheireddine Mkachiche, and the Belgian saxophone-flutist, Manuel Hermia, recalled that music is universal. Influences from the East, the West and Africa have merged to liberate a unique musicality.”
El Watan – Algeria – Dec 2018

“It was well imagined that two such open-minded artists would not only understand each other but also that their meeting would generate something special. And Bahja delivered.
Bahdja breaks free from borders and forges links between cultures. It is thanks to this kind of music, both enjoyable and respectful, that jazz will really penetrate the populations of countries that, without really knowing it, are still generally resistant to it.”
Dragon Jazz – Belgium – March 2019