Tickets on Sale for the Inaugural FESTIVAL OF ARABIC MUSIC & ARTS World Harmony One Note at a Time! October 28 – November 12, 2017

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Tickets on Sale for the Inaugural
World Harmony One Note at a Time!
October 28 – November 12, 2017
The Canadian Arabic Orchestra (CAO) is pleased to announce that single tickets are now on sale for the first annual Festival of Arabic Music & Arts (FAMA), running from October 28 – November 12, 2017. Passes have almost sold out for the Festival that brings together local and international artists to perform across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

The CAO and FAMA aim to promote intercultural dialogue among the tapestry of Canadian societies through music and art; seek to connect expatriate Arabs and non-Arab communities; and hope to build bridges through the musical heritage of Arabic culture.

Opening the Festival on Saturday, October 28 at Koerner Hall is acclaimed Iraqi guitarist, singer and composer Ilham Al Madfai. In the 1960s, Al Madfai formed The Twisters, Iraq’s first rock band and continues to push musical boundaries today. He is known for merging Western flamenco guitar techniques with traditional Iraqi music, bringing Arabic music to a whole new generation. He is “a legend throughout the Middle East…now poised to become a celebrity in the West” (Guardian Review, UK). Toronto’s own three-time Juno-nominated Sultans of String an instrumental group that celebrates musical fusion and human creativity by combining elements of Spanish flamenco, Arabic folk, Cuban rhythms, and French Manouche Gypsy-jazz will kick-start the evening with pop-infused world music.

The world premiere of Origins, November 9 at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, unites traditional indigenous songs with classical Arabic instruments. In the spirit of truth and reconciliation and to spread love, peace and harmony through the cross-cultural medium of music, Origins brings the traditional Native songs and dance of Laura Grizzlypaws and the music and song of the Canadian Arabic Orchestra together. This concert is produced and presented in association with the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, the Arab Community Centre of Toronto, and the Aga Khan Museum.

Egyptian comedian, writer, producer and cardiothoracic surgeon Bassem Youssef will bring the laughter with a night of comedy at the Bluma Appel Theatre on November 11. Often compared to Jon Stewart for his humorous yet bold criticism of current world affairs, Youssef hosted AlBernameg (The Show), the first political satire show in the Middle East, from 2011-2014. A documentary film, Tickling Giants, about his rise and fall in Egypt was released in 2016. He currently hosts The Democracy Handbook a digital series where he documents his journey across the United States attempting to understand US democracy. “There have always been political comedians, but Bassem Youssef is something new: a freedom fighter using television comedy to blast holes in an autocratic society. Every laugh line is a bullet.” Variety

Master oud player Naseer Shamma brings FAMA to a close at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre on Sunday, November 12 with On the Way to Baghdad, an instrumental program of traditional Arabic music, with members of the Canadian Arabic Orchestra. Shamma began to teach the culturally important oud while composing and performing music for theatre, film and television. Teaching is as essential to him as being a musician so he founded the Arabic Oud House in Cairo, the first school completely dedicated to teaching oud where scholars of all ages come to study. Additional locations have since opened in Alexandria, Tunis and Dubai. He was named a UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2017. This is the perfect symphonic concert for those seeking to explore music outside of their cultural playlist.

Also featured in the Festival is multi-award-winning Lebanese composer, singer, and musician, Charbel Rouhana, who performs in an extravagant joint production with the Canadian Arabic Orchestra at the Jane Mallet Theatre in Toronto, November 3, and again in Montréal as part of the Festival du Monde Arabe de Montréal on November 5 at Monument National.

Other Festival highlights include: Traditional Jazz meets Arabic music with members of the CAO forming Jazzy Arabia (October 29 @ Maja Prentice Theatre, Mississauga); double bass player Hubert Dupont and his ensemble Golan (November 4 @ at Lester B. Pearson Memorial Theatre, Brampton); French-Syrian singer and female oud soloist currently making a name for herself, Waed Bouhassoun (November 1 @ the Revue Cinema, Toronto); and Syrian singer and Youtube star Faia Younan (November 10 @ Isabel Bader Theatre, Toronto) where Reminiscing Damascus, an exhibition of paintings by Rana Hatmal, will be on display in the theatre lobby.

Along with a musical lineup, FAMA presents two plays, Badi Etzawaj (I Want to Get Married) (October 29 @ Lester B. Pearson Memorial Theatre, Brampton) a comical look at marriage between people with different cultural backgrounds; and, in association with Théâtre Français de Toronto, Djihad (November 5 @ Berkley Street Theatre, Toronto), a French-language dark comedy that confronts head-on the misinterpretations of Islam and Muslim society.

Dedicated to connecting audiences with classical Arabic music while celebrating the freedom and diversity of Canada’s cultural landscape, the Canadian Arabic Orchestra delivers world harmony one note at a time!

The Canadian Arabic Orchestra
presents the first annual
October 28 – November 12, 2017

Saturday, October 28 @ Koerner Hall, Toronto
Ilham Al Madfai + Sultans of String
Show starts at 7:30 Tickets from $50

Sunday, October 29 @ Maja Prentice Library, Mississauga
Jazzy Arabia
Show starts at 7:30 Tickets $25

Sunday, October 29 @ Lester B. Pearson Memorial Theatre, Brampton
Badi Etzawaj
Show starts at 7:30 Tickets $30

Wednesday, November 1 @ Revue Cinema, Toronto
Waed Bouhassoun
Show starts at 7:30 Tickets $25

Friday, November 3 @ Jane Mallett Theatre, Toronto
Charbel Rouhana with Canadian Arabic Orchestra
Show starts at 7:30 Tickets from $50

Saturday, November 4 @ Lester B. Pearson Memorial Theatre, Brampton
Show starts at 7:30 Tickets from $31

Sunday, November 5 @ Berkeley Street Theatre, Toronto
Show starts at 7:30 Tickets $40

Thursday, November 9 @ Aga Khan Museum, Toronto
Show starts at 7:30 Tickets $30

Friday, November 10 @ Isabel Bader Theatre, Toronto
Reminiscing Damascus
Show starts at 6:30 FREE
Faia Younan
Show starts at 7:30 Tickets from $35

Saturday, November 11 @ Bluma Appel Theatre, Toronto
Bassem Youssef
Show starts at 7:30 Tickets from $55

Sunday, November 12 @ Living Arts Centre, Mississauga
 The Road to Baghdad – Naseer Shamma
Show starts at 6:00 Tickets from $55

Tickets are on sale now!
For a full Festival schedule and to purchase passes and tickets
please visit:
Get Social:
@CandianArabOrch | #FAMA
About the Canadian Arabic Orchestra: The CAO is a not-for-profit organization registered in Mississauga with the prime objective of promoting multi-cultural dialogue and understanding through the universal language of music. The mission of the Canadian Arabic Orchestra is “To Connect, Enrich, and Inspire Through Music”; to connect people from diverse cultures, and reconnect people from Arab origins with their roots. The organization also aims to enrich by educating people about the vast Arabic cultural and musical heritage, and to inspire more musical creativity resulting from exposure to this type of music by both Arab and non-Arab musicians who wish to contribute to the music scene in Canada by composing and writing new music. Over the past two seasons, from September to May, the Orchestra has held more than 30 concerts in Ottawa, Montreal, Kitchener, London, Mississauga, Toronto, and Oakville performing to an audience of 12,000. The CAO has performed at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre, the Aga Khan Museum, the Maureen Forrester Recital Hall in Waterloo, the Algonquin Commons Theatre in Ottawa, and most recently at the Stratford Summer Music Festival (2016) and Luminato Festival (2017).

FAMA acknowledges the generous support of the City of Mississauga, Ontario Cultural Attraction Fund and Ontario Arts Council.

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