Songs with Roots

A prefect example of an ethnomusicologist? Think of Alan Lomax. Last century, this American roamed the globe in search of the most beautiful folk songs. For Zonzo Compangie, his gigantic archive became an inexhaustible source for a series of projects under the name Songs with Roots.

It all started with a first cycle in which singer Soetkin Baptist and lutenist Jan Van Outryve told the stories of the extraordinary girl Elan. With nothing more than a voice, a ukulele and a lute, Soetkin and Jan enchanted their audience with a simple, honest and moving concert. In a follow-up cycle, singer Aline Goffin and Jan joined forces, supported by illustrations by Portuguese super talent Beatriz Bagulho.

After the duo concerts, it was time for a six-member band under the name Songs with Roots XL. That concept was given special edition in 2022 in a collaboration with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Duisburg (DE) and in 2024 in a collaboration with the Bryggen string orchestra and Concertgebouw Brugge.

The project also yielded two wonderful CDs: Songs with Roots I and Songs with Roots II.

In autumn 2024, Alan Lomax's archive gets a new tribute with a five-member superband. Jan Van Outryve once again makes the selection and provides the arrangements. The wonderful voices of Aline Goffin, Enicé Mokamba and Amel Sdiri will do the rest and get Bert Bernaerts and Tijl Piryns in support.