Curious Inbox

  • Artwork - Libyan Artist Mohamed Abumeis - With Kind Permission (3)

Curious Inbox

Below are entries of current Arab-British related events taking place in London that you might wish to attend, festivals and exhibitions that are happening and other entries I receive in my Nahla Ink Inbox. Please contact me if you would like to be listed.

Layale Chaker & Sarafand Ensemble: Violinist and composer Layale Chaker’s debut album 'Inner Rhyme' is a suite that explores aesthetics of Arabic poetry. This UK release concert unveils musical threads mapped through the rhythmical cycles of the twelve classical Arabic poetic meters. Listeners will feel the fluidity of oral and free forms, the abstraction of language into the physical contour of verses, and the percussive potential of words. Beyond expression, the composition process tries to capture the shape and essence of epic testimonials on life, death, war and love that make the heart of Arabic poetry. Layale, who has appeared as a soloist, performer, improviser and composer in concerts and recitals around the world, is also a member of Daniel Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan, with whom she performs throughout the year in grand concert halls around the world. For this concert, presented by Arts Canteen and as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival, she will be joined by the Sarafand Ensemble on 25 November, 2018 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.

Faraj Suleiman Quartet: As part of the EFG London Jazz Festival, MARSM UK and Kings Place present Palestinian composer and pianist Faraj Suleiman with this quartet. Born in a village in the upper Galilee, the renowned musician has been playing the piano since the tender age of three. Influenced by his passion for Arabic music and eastern rhythms, it is both Suleiman’s groundbreaking original compositions as well as his compelling renditions that have led him to become one of the leading composers of the Arab world. His penchant for Arabic scales and modalities smoothly blends with his inspiration from tango and jazz traditions to create a uniquely captivating sound. Since 2014, he has released five albums alongside numerous stunning works with poets, theatres and musicals. Taking place 21 November, 2018 at Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG. 

The Egyptian Jazz Projekt: A special concert bringing the Harfoush Jazz Band’s revival of some of the greatest songs from 1950s and 1960s Egypt, in a new swing and latin jazz sound, as part of the band’s music project titled 'The Egyptian Jazz Projekt', featuring versions of iconic Egyptian legends such as Abdel Halim Hafez, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Fareed Al Atrash, Saad Abdel Wahab and Shadia among others. Founded by Egyptian London-based jazz vocalist Ahmed Harfoush in October 2015, the band brings a new sound to jazz through unique arrangements mainly inspired by 1950s Egyptian and American songs as well as collaborating with other jazz musicians. The project has performed in Paris, Berlin, Cairo, Vienna, Melbourne, Dubai and London. Hosted by Arts Canteen, this performance comes as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival and will take place 16 November, 2018 at Rich Mix London, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA London.

Film Africa 2018: The annual film festival celebrates the best of African cinema from across the continent and diaspora. Hosted by the Royal African Society and established in 2011, every year Film Africa brings to diverse London audiences a high quality and wide-ranging film programme accompanied by a vibrant series of events. These include: director Q+As, talks and discussions, professional workshops and master classes, school screenings and family activities, as well as an industry forum and live music nights. The festival also recognises and supports new making talent through the Baobab Award for Best Short Film and the Audience Award for Best Feature Film. The festival, which this year includes films from Tunisia, Egypt and Sudan, will be taking place 2-11 November, 2018 at venues across London.

Cairokee @JazzCafe: The name expresses the irrefutable connection with their Egyptian audiences, combining Cairo and Karaoke to symbolize a "singing along” with Cairo. Yet after over 15 years of performing and four albums, their captivating energy, creativity and humility has ensured that it is now Cairo that sings along with them, and not the other way around. Articulating elements of contemporary Egyptian society that drive their generation, their music balances rock and spacious electronica with hints of pop and chaabi. Their anthemic calls for freedom, self-reflection and societal changes are an innate reflection of their phenomenal song-writing abilities and fan base, but have not always resonated with authorities back home. As part of their anticipated autumn UK tour, they will be performing twice in London on 2-3 November, 2018 at the Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, London NW1 7PG.

Fragments: Coming as part of the 'No Direction Home' festival that explores displacement, migration and refuge, 'Fragments' has been devised through workshops run by the Single Homeless Project in collaboration with Palestinian theatre-maker Mo’min Swaitat. With support from Shubbak Festival, the production draws on music and movement rooted in participants’ home cultures, as well as their impressions of London and the chaotic beginnings of resettlement. The show focuses on the journey from dystopia to the unknown, depicting the shattering and reintegration of cultures, memories, time and space, as experienced through the body in motion. Rehearsing as part of a residency with New Diorama Theatre, Fragments was first shown as a work-in-progress at Shakespeare’s Globe. Taking place 2 November, 2018 at Camden People's Theatre, 58-60 Hampstead Road, London NW1 2PY.

Fanon, Yesterday, Today (UK Premiere & Director Q+A): Brought by Culturama to mark the 64th Anniversary of the Algerian revolution, this documentary by Hassane Mezine examines the legacy of Martinican-born thinker and revolutionary Frantz Fanon. It gives a privileged and rare insight into the life of Fanon through the stories and accounts of the people who were closest to him in his life and until his death. An evening of great vibes, one can expect the warm sounds of Oud virtuoso Yaz Fentazi to get you in the mood for the documentary, plus a post-screening Q+A wit director Mezine. Taking place 1 November, 2018 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

Amr Diab LIVE in London: The renowned Egptian star-singer and composer is a multi-award winner and recognised not just across MENA but throughout the wider world. According to the BBC, he has ruled the Arab music scene, specially Egypt and the Middle East, since the mid-1980s, continually breaking sales records. His songs have also been translated to more than seven different languages. For this rare London-UK appearance, he will be perfomring from his 'Kol Hayaty' album and old favourites. Taking place 28 October, 2018 at the SSE Arena, Wembley Arena Square, Engineers Way, London HA9 0AA.

BFI London Film Festival 2018: The annual BFI London Film Festival returns for its 62nd edition, bringing altogether 225 feature films that have been sourced from 77 countries and to be shown at 14 cinemas over 12 days across London. Bringing the most up to date films on an international scale, the BFI annually hosts the work of both emerging and established directors from across the globe with many screenings being world premieres. Organised under different genres, there are a number of films from the MENA region that can be found by going through the online categories, that inlcude: Galas and Special Presentations, Dare, Thrill, Laugh, Debate, Cult, Journey, Create, Family, Experimenta, Treasure and Documentary. Taking place 10-21 October, 2018 at various cinemas in London, this is a must attend festival!

Lena Chamamyan: An award-winning singer, song-writer and multi-instrumentalist from Syria, Chamamyan revives Syrian, Armenian and Bahraini folkloric songs with modern styles, creating an unforgettable link between oriental classic compositions and contemporary world music. Her arrangements and vocals skillfully incorporate jazz, fado, as well as Latin and African music, and even opera elements. Singing in Arabic, Armenian, Syriac, English, French, and Italian, Chamamyan is renowned as a leading singer of her generation and most innovative voice to emerge within contemporary Syrian music. Here she returns to London with her ensemble for a full-length charity concert in support of Breast Cancer Hope, a vital organisation dedicated to funding research to improve the lives of women with breast cancer. Taking place 20 October, 2018 at the Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ.

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Below are entries of current Arab-British related events taking place in London that you might wish to attend, festivals and exhibitions that are happening and other entries I receive in my Nahla Ink Inbox. Please contact me if you would like to be listed.