About Dunia

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About Dunia

Denmark is a multicultural musical country. Virtuoso musicians from many parts of the world live and work here with diverse exciting musical traditions in their luggage.

Music has a special ability to create bonds between people, and to build bridges across cultural differences, and the Dunia ensemble is a world music orchestra in the best sense of the phrase. Danish and immigrant musicians working in perfect harmony, letting  their common love for music come before petty political and religious differences, thus creating great art.

The ensemble is under the expert guidance of world veteran, saxophonist Morten Carlsen, who has extensive experience in mixing traditions, including many years as a member of the iconic world music band "New Jungle Orchestra".

"Dunia are amazing musicians, each of them a star on their respective instrument," says Morten "and they paint unheard timbres with sound, using dynamics from whispers to screams, and giving everything you could want, both as composers and instrumentalists."

The skills of the musicians exceed narrow genre boundaries, and their goal is obviously to entertain, but also to inspire audiences and future musicians of all ethnicities.




Artists in Dunia Tales :

_DSC0226MichaelchahercarlosMaher GeorgehMirwaismortenbadi

Dalia Faitelson


composer, guitarist, vocalist & DJ DaFa.

Dalia was born in the Negev Desert of Israel to a Bulgarian mother and Israeli father. Her first impressions were of blazing sun, open space and the shades of the color brown. These impressions will follow her always.
Studied at the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem, followed by Berklee Collage Of Music, Boston.
Today based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Through out Dalia’s musical career her idea has been to create a truly global sound by trying to reach a natural fusion between top professional musicians from diverse cultural background. A global experience presenting music with personality, honesty and with no limits of style what so ever; A unique blend of jazz, Bertolt Brecht & Kurt Weill, Middle Eastern & Balkan melodies.

You can find Dalia Faitelson’s music on these labels:
Storyville Records, Sundance, Enja Rcords, double Moon, Peregrina Music &Gateway Music.

Dalia has been touring and recording wiinternational names as: Randy Brecker, Jerry Bergonzi, Lelo Nika, Adam Nussbaum, Chris Cheek, Jay Andersen, Thommy Andersson, Marilyn Mazur, Manolo Badrena and Café.

Received the Danish equivalent of a Grammy for Jazz in 2000 and the 2005 “Composer Of The Year Award” given by DJBFA – the Danish Composer Association.

2014 – Nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album 2014, Danish Music Awards (album – “As The World Sleeps).Nominated twice for a “The Danish World Music Award” with my band PILPEL.


Chaher Ali Murtada       IMG_1278 2


Chaher was born in Damascus. He started playing music when he was eight years old. At the age of sixteen he began his career as a professional musician.His biggest musical influences were Jaco Pastorius, Jeff Berlin, Charles Mingus, and Ron Carter.He grew fond of bass guitar and fusion jazz. He started his professional career in Syria where he played many genres of music ranging from Jazz to Rock to Arabic.

He has played and been on several tours with many artists from the Middle East. He has played in world festivals in the United Arab Emirates, Las Vegas, Beirut and countries in North Africa. Chaher has established his own voice as a bassist and recording many albums for different musicians and artists.

He then moved to Denmark where he continued to develop his professional career as a producer and a bass player with many prestigious band s such as Bjonkos group (one of the best Balkan beat groups in Scandinavia), Dunia Morten Carlson Big Band, Grænseløse Big Band and many more. He has played in many world festivals in Europe, such as in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Poland and Copenhagen. In the beginning of 2015 he recorded two albums: Dunia Tales and Running horses. In Dunia Tales he composed a special song, “Hard like Ash”. He uses a lot of his own original pieces with the bands he plays with.

Morten Carlsen.SyriskeKulturkaravane_Gimle_Backstage_ArthurCammelbeeck-1

Morten  has throughout his working life been focused on sound: Concrete sound, synthetic, electronic sound and many different kinds of music.

The starting point was the clarinet, saxophone and jazz, free improvisation, folk music from Africa and the East. Later, new music and sound art, both as musician and composer.

As improvisator he possesses an extraordinary sharpness and a strong presence which unfolds in an excellent instrument technique. Member of the New Jungle Orchestra 1981 - 2014, he has toured most of the world and collaborated with musicians from China, Vietnam, Bali, Mongolia, Africa and the US. He has been teaching at music academies and institutes for electroacoustics in Denmark and abroad and participated in hundreds of releases.

In 2014 he started as lecturer in ethnomusicology at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies of Copenhagen University.

  Maher Mahmoud

Maher Mahmoud01 copy

Maher  is a Syrian composer and oudist. He was born in 1986 in Salamiya – a city in the middle of Syria. He moved to Damascus with his mother as a child and lived there until 2012 when he briefly moved to Jordan. In 2013 Maher moved to Denmark, where he presently resides.Maher started his musical education by learning the Arabic oud. In 2010 he graduated from The Higher Institute of Music in Damascus, where he studied both classical Aracbic and Western music. Maher has since 2005 been composing and arranging for several musical groups:  big band, symphony orchestra, solo, various ensemble sizes, Arabic Takht and chamber orchestra. He is interested in world music and discovering new sounds on the oud and additionally, experimenting with different styles of contemporary music.

Since 2009, Maher has worked with different bands and artists in Denmark, UK and around Europe – among others are Damon Albarn and Brian Eno, Dunia Ensemble, Grænseløs, Dicte, JSO Bremen-Nord Philharmonic Orchestra, RUM, Blood-Sweat-Drum & Bass big band, S. Møller Big Band, Aarhus Jazz Orchestra, Listen! Trio, Nouri Iskandar String Quartet and Li Dine.

Alongside, Maher is working on several projects, which range from Arabic, jazz and classical oriental music, and is starting a new network of Syrian professional musicians around Europe in collaboration with Danish musicians in Denmark, where he found The Syrian National Ensemble in Diaspora.

Last, but not least, Maher also composes his own music that involves experimenting with the oud in different musical styles. His debut album Mirage was released in 2010.


George Mihalache

George Mihalache

George was born in Bucharest/Romania in 1971. He was raised in a family of musicians with it's roots in the old tradition of gypsy music and the family musicianship goes centuries back. George is of the 6th generation.

George's music education began when he was only 6-7 years old, studying music with his grandfather and learning gypsy music and Romanian folk tunes by ear. As a 15-year old he had already been working with several reputable and coveted musicians and playing with most bigger ensembles in Bucharest, and he had been touring several European countries.

George Mihalache's musical repertoire comprehensive and versatile, ranging from the gypsy music traditions of Romania through evergreen traditionals and classical favorites. He has been living in Copenhagen since 1994 and worked with many musicians within the genres of world music, jazz and classical music.

Michael NielsenMichael

Musician, (saxophones, clarinets, flutes, guitar, xylophone)

Composer, educator, project coordinator


1973 – 2016 : Mainly self-taught professional musician, playing freelance with own bands and as a sideman all over Europe and Africa  - with a.o. Julian Bahula, Mervyn Africa, Vusi Mahlasela, Pops Mohamed, Ahmadu Jarr, Russ Henderson, Jools Holland, Dick Heckstall-Smith(3000  performances)

1994 – 2011 : musician with Jytte Abildstrøm Theatre Company.

1990 – resident musician at Café Coste, Edinburgh (Edinburgh Festival)

1981 – musician with the musical ”Grease”, the Merkur Theatre, Copenhagen

1981 – musician with the theatre “Ø-gruppen” Hammershus, Bornholm

1979 – musician with the Jens August Schade cabaret, Caféteatret, Copenhagen


2006 : Artist-in-residence / composer at  Tårnby Gymnasium, Copenhagen.

2006 : Composer / musician for new-circus company Cikaros, touring Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Holland and France

1995 – 98  Composer for Jytte Abildstrøm Theatre Company 

1993 – 2016 : Composer for own ensembles : Prinsens Orkester, Fulani and for the DUNIA Ensemble


1979 – 96 : teaching saxophone, flute and ensemble playing at Rytmiske Aftenskole, Copenhagen; workshops (ensemble playing and African music) at Kolding Højskole, Ærø Folkehøjskole, SFOF, FOF, Oval Centre London, Jenako Cultural Centre (London), various primary schools (Colchester, England)

1987 – 94 :  school concerts the Zebra band in Denmark, Sweden and Germany (350 performances)

Project coordinator

1998 – 2003 : Initiator and project coordinator for educational exchange programme for music students and teachers in Johannesburg, Cape Town og Durban, South Africa and at Rhythmic Music Conservatory (RMC), Copenhagen 350 students and 35 teachers.

1999 :  Project coordinator for artists collaboration programme, Roskilde Festival, Denmark

Study trips and tours :

Brazil (1981, 2005, 2006)

Ennis, Ireland (1999)

Spain (1987, 1988)

Ghana, Togo and Sierra Leone (1983, 1985) (grants from the Danish Music Council and the Gangsted Foundation)

Studied African xylophone with Edmund Tijan and Kakraba Lobi in Ghana

1977 and 1978 : student at Brandbjerg Summer Jazz School (lessons with David Murray and Lee Konitz.

1975 and 1976 : student at Vallekilde Summer Jazz School (improvisation classes with Steve Lacy and Heikki Sarmanto

Selected recordings   

As leader :

”PRINSENS ORKESTER”                      (Denmark 2003)

”Michael Nielsen Meets Lucky Ranku”   (Denmark 2001)

“FULANI”                                                (Denmark 1999)     

As sideman :

Vusi Mahlasela   ”Jungle Of Questions”(South Africa 2003)

Mohammed Jabry   ”Mombasa Bridge” Denmark 2002)

H. Steinmetz & Communio Musica: ”Special Alloy” (Denmark 2002)

H. Steinmetz & Communio Musica: “Gate of Changes” (Denmark 2000)

T.S. Høeg & Mongo Dilmuns: ”Don’t Hesitate “ (Denmark 1997)

Zebra    ”Tordenfingre” (Denmark 1993)

Nana Tsiboe ”Asem Ni! Trouble Dat!” (England 1989)

Demba Conta ”Monkey Business” (Sweden 1986)

Pat Thomas   ”Asanteman” (Ghana 1985)

Kojo Antwi   ”Alpha” (Ghana 1985)

Julian Bahula & Jazz Afrika     ”Son Of The Soil” (England  1982)

Tøsedrengene   ”Tiden står stille” (Denmark 1981)

Caracas  ”En Strålende Tid” (Denmark 1980)

Himmelexpressen ”Latinamerikansk Olie” (Denmark 1976, 2016)

Ahmed-Mirwais Fedai   Syriske kulturkaravane

Mirwais fra Kabul, Afghanistan. Har turneret med den kurdiske sangerinde Mizgin i Tyrkien og i Skandinavien. Har studeret hos mester i afghansk tabla, Ustad Asif Mahmoud.

Badi Rafea    badi 

Badi was Born in Kuwait on November 27, 1976
Member of Sydicate of Artists in Arab Syrian Republic. 
Member of The Syrian National Orchistra for Arab Music belonging to the higher Institute of music.
Workshop with Mr. Diaa Tass in Eygpt
Several tours with The Syrian National Orchistra for Arab Music and other ones in different countries such as Eygpt, Tunisia, Morroco, Lebanon, Jordan, Italy, Germany, and Arminia
Several tours with the International Gorillaz Group in Europe, Australia, Newzeland, and Hong Kong.


 Carlos Pérezcarlos