SAWA is a trio of leading Middle Eastern music fusion specialists – Shirley Smart on cello, Clemens Christian Pötzsch on piano and synths and Alya Marquardt on vocals. Smart is best known for her ensemble Melange, and has been a featured cellist on alums by Maurizio Minardi, Alya Marquardt and Alice Zawadzki. Pötzsch is a pianist and composer who leads Masaa, a Lebanese-German band that has won multiple jazz and world music awards. Marquardt is an Iraqi singer and composer who has been featured on BBC television, Jazz FM and Middle Eastern and African television.

Their music brings together Middle Eastern music influences primarily in the form of Iraqi folk with free improvisation, polyrhythmic explorations and experimental interpretation.

Their debut album will be released on Two Rivers Records in early 2016.