The pick of the performers not to miss at the Sharjah World Music Festival 2017
With 24 artists from 13 countries performing over nine days, the third Sharjah World Music Festival is the biggest yet. Here is a rundown of the top artists performing at venues across the emirate over the coming days.
Sherine and Hussain Al Jassmi
The festival begins in glittering style with an Arabic-language double header featuring Egypt’s “Queen of Feelings” Sherine – who has thankfully disproved reports of her retirement early last year – and local hero Hussain Al Jassmi. A guaranteed crowd-pleaser, the evergreen Emirati star appears fresh from a career-topping 2016, during which he became the first Arab act to headline Dubai Opera.
• Friday, January 6,, 8pm, Al Majaz Amphitheatre.
Reham Abdel Hakim
Award-winning singer Reham Abdel Hakim will lead a tribute to one of the Arab World’s most distinctive and memorable voices, Umm Kulthum, an Egyptian whose immeasurable contribution to music earned her the nickname “Planet of the East”. Hakim first attracted attention portraying the teenage Kulthum in the TV series Om Kulthum. She will be backed by the Cairo Opera House Orchestra, conducted by Mohammed Al Maoji.
• Sunday, January 8, 9pm, Flag Island Amphitheatre.
Mike del Ferro, Deborah J Carter and Niladri Kumar
Expect a melding of musical traditions from this boundary-busting line-up, which combines talents from two distinct musical schools. Dutch jazz pianist Mike del Ferro and his trio will appear alongside vocalist Deborah J Carter, a long-time collaborator. The bill will be bravely rounded out by the Indian fusionist Niladri Kumar, who created his own “zitar” – a combination of a classical sitar and electric guitar – and has recorded alongside heroes from both musical worlds, including AR Rahman and John McLaughlin.
• Monday, January 9, 9pm, Al Qasba Theatre.
Renowned French accordionist and singer Daniel Mille will present a programme conjuring the heady musical history of his country’s capital, entitled Flavour of Paris. Backed by three cellos and a double bass, he will perform his trademark tango repertoire from Argentine Astor Piazzolla.
• Tuesday, January 10, 9pm, Al Qasba Theatre.
David Peña Dorantes and Marina Heredia
Andalusian pianist and composer David Peña Dorantes and flamboyant vocalist Marina Heredia team up to present a programme called The Jewel of Flamenco.
• Wednesday, January 11,, 9pm, Al Qasba Theatre
Chico and the Gypsies
Gypsy Kings co-founder Chico Bouchikhi went solo in 1992, forming his own take on the troupe’s dance floor-filling Catalan rumba-meets-pop formula – but you can still expect to nod along to more than a few familiar tunes.
• Thursday January 12, 9pm, Flag Island Amphitheatre.
Oussama Rahbani and Hiba Tawaji
This duo features Lebanese starlet Tawaji – an international phenomenon since competing in The Voice France in 2015 – who will be alongside her countryman, prodigious producer and composer Rahbani. Expect a mix of material drawing from eastern and western traditions.
• Friday, January 13, 9pm, Flag Island Amphitheatre.
Jasem Mohamad and Nagham Al Emirat Band
The festival ends, symbolically, with an “Emirati Night” programme, featuring two contrasting acts. The Nagham Al Emirat Band, made up of talented young UAE musicians, uses a mix of traditional instruments to bring Khaleeji rhythms to life, with a modern twist. They are joined on the bill by Fujairah-born singing star Mohamad.
• January 14, 9pm, Flag Island Amphitheatre.
• Ticket prices vary – visit www.ticketmaster.ae for more details