MvVO Art Launches AD ART SHOW
Events

Grammy Winner Arturo O’Farrill Presents “North American Premiere” of “The Cuban Khaleeji Project” with Afro Latin Jazz Alliance & Little Island!

Grammy Winner Arturo O’Farrill Presents “North American Premiere” of “The Cuban Khaleeji Project” with Afro Latin Jazz Alliance & Little Island!
Grammy® Award-winning pianist/composer Arturo O’Farrill and nonprofit the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) along with presenting partner Little Island host the North American premiere of the acclaimed The Cuban Khaleeji Project from Friday, August 19 – Sunday, August 21, 2022 at “The Amph” at Little Island at Pier 55 in Hudson River Park. The Cuban Khaleeji Project was originally commissioned and presented by NYU-Abu Dhabi Arts Center (2019) and its stateside premiere will be hosted at NYC’s new public park: Little Island.
The Cuban Khaleeji Project is a rare experience for New Yorkers to witness the intersections of Afro Cuban jazz and the music of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). O’Farrill leads listeners on an exploration of the Arab, Moorish, and North African roots of Afro Latin and Afro Cuban music and the seafaring music of the Arabian Gulf. The Cuban Khaleeji Project is inspired by the work of author Ned Sublette, who traces the connection between Arabic and Afro Cuban music as it travels via the Strait of Gibraltar and Andalucia, Spain. For The Cuban Khaleeji Project, the 18-piece Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and invited special guests Ghazi Al-Mulaifi & Boom.Diwan, Ali Obaid, Yazz Ahmed, and Malika Zarra will recreate the usage of microtonal variations and improvisation in Middle Eastern song and similar practices in the blues and Afro folkloric chants, while exploring the relationship of khaleeji and Cuban music.
“Cuba meets Khaleeji perfectly captures the idea that music is a migratory force,” says Arturo O’Farrill. “The music we call jazz or Afro Cuban jazz is informed by the far east, the middle east, south Asia and filtered through Mother Africa. When the enslaved peoples were brought to these shores against their will, they brought the language of the planet. They brought the truth that culture, especially music, is more powerful than geography, governance, nationalism, and even more powerful than hatred and oppression.”
The Cuban Khaleeji Project was one of the finest concerts we’ve presented at The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, attended by the UAE’s Minister of Culture, HE Noura al Kaabi, and numerous dignitaries,” says Bill Bragin (Executive Artistic Director, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi). “Music of the Gulf is little heard in the United States, and the opportunity to bring this project with its originating artists to ALJO’s hometown in New York at the waterfront Little Island venue creates an exceptional opportunity to extend this cultural exchange and provide Americans with a series of culturally unique performances of the highest caliber.”
Acclaimed guest artists include ethnomusicologist and musician Ghazi Al-Mulaifi who directs Boom.Diwan, a group of seven skillful percussionists drawing from the rich repertoire of pearl diving songs and other traditional Kuwaiti styles. Emirati oudist and founder of the band Takht Al Emarat, Ali Obaid presents a musical dialogue rich in Emirati heritage and character. Having reached international success, his music showcases an authentic history of his home town of Fujairah, UAE.
British-Bahraini trumpet player and composer Yazz Ahmed blurs the lines between jazz, electronic sound design and the music of her mixed heritage, in what has been described as “psychedelic Arabic jazz.” Moroccan vocalist Malika Zarra is a multicultural shapeshifter with a velvety, sinuous mezzo-soprano voice who demonstrates the rare ability to communicate both powerful and subtle ideas/feelings in Berber, Moroccan Arabic, French, and English.
ALJA curates an array of special programming including The Cuban Khaleeji Project as part of their residency for Little Island’s “Island Music Week.” The Sunday, August 21 performance features new collaborations between O’Farrill and the guest artists in smaller group formats with new music debuting at Little Island. This evening’s performance presents a new evolution of The Cuban Khaleeji Project, and represents the continuing partnerships between these musicians to keep moving this music into the future.
Kuwaiti-American applied-ethnomusicologist and professor of music, Ghazi Faisal Al-Mulaifi, earned his Doctorate of Philosophy from NYU (2015) and founded Boom Diwan, a collaborative jazz ensemble inspired by the cosmopolitan Kuwaiti seafaring music of Indian Ocean trade, with influences spanning from Zanzibar to Calicut.
The Boom, the most important ship in Kuwait, was used for pearl diving and for merchant trade. This serves as a metaphor for the musical exploration that Boom.Diwan engages in. The Diwan (music) is a place where traditional Kuwaiti seafaring music ensembles preserve and pass on traditional Kuwaiti music. This is also a metaphor for the exchange between Boom.Diwan with other musicians; regardless of genre, style, or culture.
Ghazi, together with traditional Kuwaiti musicians dialogue Kuwaiti bahri (sea) music with global jazz traditions for the purpose of creating a new Kuwaiti music that revives a musical tradition of dialogue and exchange.
Hailing from the Emirate of Fujairah, Ali Obaid is the leader of Takht Al Emarat, the Fujairah Band of Arabic Music, the Fujairah Orchestra, and director of the Fujairah Academy of Fine Art. His work has been on the forefront of developing urban Arab music in the UAE and one of bringing together Egyptian, Iraqi, and Gulf music to develop a unique Pan-Arab musical cosmopolitanism.
Obaid is the ambassador of the musical heritage of Fujairah, one of the most important teaching institutions in the country that brings authentic and accurate representation and enriches the understanding of musical instruments such as the Oud.
British-Bahraini trumpet player Yazz Ahmed has led her ensembles in performances across the UK & Europe, and further afield in Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, USA & Canada. She has also enchanted audiences at major festivals such as WOMAD, Love Supreme, NYC Winter Jazz Fest & Pori Jazz.
Ahmed’s career includes high profile collaborations with the likes of Radiohead, Lee Scratch Perry, Transglobal Underground, Arturo O’Farrill, and Natacha Atlas, including a world tour with These New Puritans. Yazz was nominated for Downbeat Magazine’s “Trumpet Artist of The Year” and featured in the “Rising Star Trumpet” category in the 2020 Downbeat critics’ poll. And at the close of 2020, she won the “Jazz FM Award” for UK Jazz Act of the Year, “Jazz FM Album of The Year,” and the highly prestigious Ivor Novello Award for Innovation.
Award-winning mezzo-soprano vocalist Malika Zarra is a multi-cultural shape-shifter who leaps effortlessly between seemingly unconnected languages and traditions, uniting them while utilizing each to enrich audiences. Zarra has a rare ability to communicate powerful and subtle feelings in Berber, Moroccan Arabic, French and English. Upon moving to New York City from initially Morocco and then Paris, Zarra’s repertoire incorporates her native Berber, Gnawa (a percussive form of religious trance music), Chaabi (Arabic working-class blues), French pop, and jazz rhythms.
Zarra has become an in-demand headliner at concert halls and festivals across the globe, and has recorded and/or performed with Makoto Ozone, John Zorn, Arturo O’Farrill, Aruan Ortiz, Tommy Campbell (Dizzy Gillespie), Will Calhoun (Living Color), Lonnie Plaxico (Cassandra Wilson), and countless others.
For more information, please visit: afrolatinjazz.org or littleisland.org

Events

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

More in Events

Fall Events of the Season

WriterOctober 4, 2022

Central Park’s Wollman Ice Rink and and Bryant Park’s Opens This Month

Suzanna BowlingOctober 3, 2022

The Best Kept Secret In Times Square AirOtic

Suzanna BowlingOctober 3, 2022

Yom Kippur NYC Style

Suzanna BowlingOctober 3, 2022

Clamato and Peter Madrigal Toast National Hispanic Heritage Month in Style

WriterOctober 2, 2022

The Glorious Corner

G. H. HARDINGOctober 2, 2022

Rockers On Broadway Rehersals And You Are There

Genevieve Rafter KeddyOctober 2, 2022

New York City Events We Love

WriterOctober 2, 2022
Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla

Events in October Are Ravishing

Suzanna BowlingOctober 1, 2022