Crossing Borders, Uniting Rhythms: English Pen and Arts Canteen present an evening of spoken word and music with a focus on freedom of expression in issues around identity, art, music and free speech.
Green Caravan Film Festival (GCFF): The traveling festival for social and environmental films comes to London from its Gulf headquarters for the first time. It will present a mix of feature length and short films, all chosen for their vital messages and the high quality of storytelling.
Arabs Are Not Funny (Comedy): After three sold-out editions, Arts Canteen’s show will return with a new line-up of comedians representing the Arab world and surrounding regions. Hosted by Tez Ilyas, this edition's headliners will be Maria Shehata (Egypt/USA) and Walaa Sbait (Palestine). Comedy awards-winner Shehata was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and has travelled the globe charming audiences with her unlikely blend of Mid-east and American Mid-west perspectives.
Karama: One of the most popular Arabic bands in the United Kingdom, Karama is led by Moroccan Oud player Soufian Saihi and brings his compositions based around the oud, clarinet, double bass and percussion. Finding inspiration from the beautiful ecstatic Gnawa, North African and Arabic classical music as well as the diverse sounds of London, Karama’s members are also from Venezuela, Spain, Japan, Morocco and the UK.
Orange Blossom (France/Egypt): Performing as part of the thirteenth London Africa Music Festival, Orange Blossom offer electric whirlpools, electronic storms and Oriental arabesques: insolent mixing which is not satisfied with half measures. Their music suggests a free world of doubts where East and West fraternize with ease; an idea dreamed up by Carlos Robles Arenas (drummer, percussionist and composer) and Pierre Jean Chabot (violinist).
Iness Mezel: Performing as part of the thirteenth London African Music Festival, Iness Mezel has been developing a fusion musical identity that is firmly rooted in her dual culture since 1995. With a French-Italian mother and father of Algerian Berber origin, she grew up in Algeria and France. After classical musical studies - singing, piano- she went on to learn jazz improvisation and various singing styles different from the Berber style like African (Elik Tara) and classical-contemporary (Tamia).
OUM (Morocco) Musical Concert: Coming as part of the thirteenth London African Music Festival, Moroccan singer Oum Haylala will have her London debut at the legendary Tabernacle. Already, she has captured the hearts of the people in her country and is worshiped like a diva.
But either way, do not despair as London will be bringing you lots of events to keep you busy all day long and until late or just in time for your iftar.
Ramadan Night: An evening that revives the old Ramadan tradition from the Arab and Muslim world which gathers musicians, poets and story tellers after dark and the breaking of the fast, where the Rich Mix venue will be gently lit by candles and Arabic lanterns with songs and sounds that reach back in time through Arabic history.
Gaâda Diwane Bechar: A UK premiere for the Saharan group that will bring Sufi trance with invocative, authentic and fused tunes. A night of Diwane ceremony, showcasing the mystical strands of Sufism with Saharan rhythms building up to a crescendo, travelling from the deepest Erg in the Sahara through the Moroccan Essaouira to the high steppes of Algeria, all the way to East London! With the mondole, the guembri, the karakabous and the bendir, the Gaâda offer a mystical journey with warm sounds and hot rhythms accompanied by Aisha’s rich Saharan vocals and rhythms.