Emel by Mark Allan
Discover new global sounds as powerful tradition-bearers and genre-shattering musicians converge over two evenings that blend cultures, styles, and genres.
The lineup for the 8th edition features:
- Day 1, Friday, Mar 1: Faraj Suleiman and Samora Pinderhughes
- Day 2, Saturday, Mar 2: Mazaher and Emel
Faraj Suleiman (Palestine)
Faraj Suleiman is a Palestinian composer and pianist. His music is strongly influenced by Arabic/Eastern melodies and rhythms. He often incorporates those scales and modalities in his compositions. In addition to being inspired by his Arabic culture, he is also influenced by Jazz traditions. As an Arab musician/pianist trained in classical music, he constantly searches for new forms of expression to equally appeal to his “Eastern” and “Western” listeners. To date, Faraj Suleiman composed several albums which have placed the “Eastern” piano in the center of the composition, ranging from solo piano compositions to quartets, quintets, arrangements for choir and full orchestras. He also composed music for theatre and film, such as the multiple award- winning film by Ameen Nayfeh “200 meters”, and Lateley “Alam” by Feras Khoury.
Samora Pinderhughes (U.S.)
Pianist/vocalist, composer, interdisciplinary artist, and surrealist Samora Pinderhughes is known for his honest lyrics, his harmonic language, his vulnerable visuals, his socio political commentary, and his commitment to making art that is of use to everyday life. His work delves into all the things society tries to hide – about its history, about its structures, and about the individual and daily things we all experience but don’t know how to talk about. His art is an invitation to feel things deeply, and to think deeply about how we all live.
Mazaher is one of the rare ensembles in which women play a leading role and are connected to a most ancient tradition practiced in several countries in the region. The musicians of Mazaher: Um Sameh, Um Hassan, Nour El Sabah are among the last remaining Zar practitioners in Egypt. The music presented by Mazaher is inspired by three different styles of the Zar music in Egypt: the Egyptian or Upper Egyptian Zar, Abul Gheit Zar and the Tamboura or African Zar. Zar is a community healing ritual of singing, polyrhythmic drumming and dancing whose tradition is carried mainly by women (men have the second roles) and whose main participants are women. It’s distinctively different from other Egyptian music traditions.
Emel Mathlouthi is a songwriter, composer, guitarist, and singer who brings a powerful brand new sound to Tunisian music. Endowed with an outstanding voice, her early career drew comparisons to Joan Baez, Sister Marie Keyrouz and the Lebanese diva Fairouz – propelled by her global anthem “Kelmti Horra (My Word is Free),” while her more recent projects have been compared to Bjork and Kate Bush. In her environmentally-themed project Everywhere We Looked Was Burning, which she’ll perform accompanied by electronics and a string quartet, Mathlouthi has shifted and complicated her sound, incorporating a dark atmosphere, expansive electronics and digital glitches, without losing her spirit. As anyone who has seen or heard her perform knows, all of her work is powered forward by her otherworldly operatic voice, a voice that is comfortable in the streets, in a club or theater, or at the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.
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