Abdel Karim el Kabli
The avuncular poet, composer and folklorist Abdel Karim el Kabli, now in his mid-sixties, has become a walking encyclopaedia of the musical heritage of north, east and central Sudan. Kabli embraces both colloquial and classical styles, and is equally beloved by academics and ordinary Sudanese.
Abdel Karim el Kabli wrote Sukkar, Sukkar (Sugar, Sugar) in 1962, a gently lilting take on the Twist, the dance craze he had just encountered in England, and which he claimed could be traced back to the Zar ritual in Sudan. His restrained style is a million miles from spirit possession, but he comes across as an amiable old toad.