x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Artists gather for World Music Day

Abu Dhabi and Dubai will celebrate World Music Day this weekend.

The band Same Same But Different perform at last year's World Music Day in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Alliance Française Abou Dabi
The band Same Same But Different perform at last year's World Music Day in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Alliance Française Abou Dabi

Global sounds are part of this year’s World Music Day ­celebrations.

Organised by the Abu Dhabi branch of the Alliance Française, the free popular French music festival returns to the UAE with concerts in both Emirates tomorrow and Saturday, World Music Day.

Nearly 40 locally based acts are set to take part, including the debut performance of the Emirates Community Orchestra.

Recently founded, the orchestra is made of international youth living across the UAE.

Under the direction of first ­bassoon Jonathan Armes, they will take the stage at the Alliance Française Dubai in Oud Metha on Friday to perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1.

The Friday concert will set the stage for World Music Day (which is on Saturday), with various locally based acts will perform in Abu Dhabi’s World Trade Center Mall and the Alliance Française Abu Dhabi.

Leading the 20-act bill in the capital is the renowned guitarist Kamal Mussallam, who will perform selections from his new album Homemade in Rome. Also joining him in the mall’s public square is The Gypsy Swing Project. The four piece were founded in 2011 and their repertoire consists of French classic and jazz standards performed in an energetic “gypsy style”. Meanwhile, in Dubai, Saturday night features eclectic styles with the Afro-Brazilian group Sixth June, the drumming collective Belta DrumCore and The Hamami Brothers, a duo on violin and ­vocals.

Alliance Française’s Anne Cabanel says the popular music festival – which began in France in 1981 and is now celebrated in more than 20 countries including Algeria, Morocco and Argentina – aims to bring music to the masses.

“It’s about making music accessible to everyone,” she says. “It is also for the musicians, as well. It’s an opportunity for everyone to get involved and play, no matter your background and music styles. It will be lots of fun.”

For the full programme, visit www.afabudhabi.org

sasaeed@thenational.ae