Posts filed under ‘Arabic music’

Join Multi-Talented Egyptian Entertainer Karim Nagi as He Showcases the Culture of the Middle East in a One-of-a-Kind Theatrical Extravaganza: February 10th, Friday @ 8:00 p.m.

Enjoy this clip from Arabized

The Center of Arabic Culture is proud to present Arabized, a unique and original theatrical presentation of Middle Eastern culture as seen  through the eyes of world renown producer and performing artist Karim Nagi. Previously a local resident and highly renowned artist, Nagi comes back to Boston after 5 years of success on the international stage. His well-seasoned experience as a man of many talents serves as the basis for a show that is sure to be a hit. Over the years, he has demonstrated his skills time and again as a master drummer, composer, folk dancer, speaker, educator, recording artist, producer, choreographer, artistic director, and dj. (career highlights) He is a grand master at the art of fusion in more ways than one. First and foremost, his dance productions center around choreography that is totally at one with the music, a unity he views as sacred with respect to any artistic work involving sound and movement. He is also adept at the effective intermingling of traditional and modern styles of dance and music from many diverse cultures, all within a single work. Arabized is a virtual showpiece of all of Nagi’s highly developed and varied skills within a cultural extravaganza of music, dance, and spoken word. A vast array of colorful Middle Eastern folk cultures are brought to life on the stage through Nagi’s inventive re-interpretations of traditional performance arts in modernized form, featuring the incorporation of elements of electronica and other Western music genres.

This event also serves as a kind of cd release celebration, honoring Karim Nagi’s latest recording which shares its name with the show. The music itself is world fusion featuring various combinations of Middle Eastern, Latin and Asian genres  and Arabic-style reinterpretations of well-known classical compositions. During his original tenure in Boston, this highly accomplished and esteemed ambassador of Arabic culture gave rise to no less than 100+ local events, including the long running series entitled “Arabesque Mondays” formerly held at the infamous Club Passim. Find out what Nagi’s current mega-project is all about and be prepared to be highly entertained during a performance of Arabized.



Event Details:

When: February 10th, Friday @ 8:00 p.m.

Where: The Cambridge Theater (YMCA) 

Tickets: $20.00 (adults) / $10.00 (students)

More Info: Contacts (Including tickets)

(Area Restaurants)                     

January 31, 2012 at 3:19 am Leave a comment

Escape the Doldrums of Winter Via a Trip to Warmer Lands with the Folks at The Beehive During and Enchanting Evening of Music, Dance and Cuisine of the Middle East: February 7th, Tuesday (8:00 p.m. – 12 Midnight)

It may be cold outside, but it will definitely be hot and steamy inside during The Beehive’s Middle Eastern Night. Come on in from the cold and warm up with an exotic evening of  live music, ethnic cuisine and belly dancing, compliments of some of the Boston’s best performers. Feast upon specially prepared Arabic dishes such as Moroccan cigars with lamb filling, mezze platters, and couscous ala Beehive to the globally inspired sounds  of The Pharohs. Udi Joe Kouy-Oumjian and Harry Bedrossian (keyboards), Mal Barsamian (saxophone & clarinet), and Garo Papazian (drums) and their guest Za-Beth (zills), will serenade you with a whole host of Arabic, Mediterranean, Armenian, and Middle Eastern genres.

Topping off the evening will be nationally renown belly dance artist, Phaedra Rose. Dancing since the 1980’s, this highly talented entertainer is known for her sensual style  further enhanced by its distinctive soulful qualities. She will be joined by local colleagues Raquel, Akasha, Amera Cristine, and Neylan. (Check out the video links) So, why not “forget” that its winter for just a little while with an evening of “super hot” Middle Eastern inspired cultural entertainment at Boston’s Beehive.

Phaedra Rose

Event Details:

When: February 7th, Tuesday (8:00 p.m. – Midnight)

       Restaurant & Bar open (5:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.)   

Where: The Beehive (Downtown Boston)

Admission: No cover charge listed

More info:  617-423-0069 

January 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm Leave a comment

Experience the Retelling of the Classic Christmas Tale of the Navity in a Whole New Light with the Ahlam Selene Arabic Dancers: December 11th, Sunday @ 7:30 p.m.

Extraordinary dancing, acting, and , of course musicianship is what the Ahlam Selene Dance Company’s  holiday production of the “The Little Drummer Boy” is all about. The Raks Nativity Theatrical Show is a retelling of the biblical tale through the most lovely and elegant art of Raqs Sharqi, commonly known in this culture as belly dance. Although this is the most widely embraced form of Arabic dance among the masses, Ahlam Selene has chosen to combine it with other lesser known forms of Arabic folk dance as well in order to bring audiences a dance showpiece that is especially well suited to effective story telling. In the true spirit of dance theater, each of these genres have been somewhat re-interpreted so as to heighten their dramatic impact upon the audience who is thus presented with a performance filled with emotional intrigue and enchantment, not to mention the added treat of a little humor now and then to lighten the mood.  The show was such a hit last year that 2011’s performance is actually a repeat. Also a repeat is the charity of choice for this year’s benefit event, “Cradles to Crayons“. In 2010, Raks Nativity raised $1,400 to provide the needy youths of Massachusetts with school supplies and other essentials required to afford them a healthy, enriching learning and living environment during childhood that will ultimately serve as a sound basis for a successful adult life. 

The specially featured role of the little drummer boy will be danced and played (with the assistance of fellow percussionists Amira and Alber) by Johara who is not only known for her dance skills but is quite the formidable doumbek artist as well. Imagine dancing and drumming at the same time! In addition to receiving numerous local, national, and international accolades as a performer she has also managed to build quite a versatile career as a choreographer, instructor, and events planner, earning the utmost respect of arts critics everywhere. She is currently the director, producer, and award-winning choreographer of Boston’s Snake Dance Theater Company. Learn more about her many notable accomplishments here.

This year’s additional line-up of talented entertainers includes: Cecilia al-Bahr, Susi GoodBadriya Al-Badi’a, Alaric, Alizah Afet, Qamar, NajmatNepenthe AhlamJemileh Nour, Maia SeleneLee Lynch, Angelo Scott D’Amato, Tricia Hopkins, Johanna Lynn, Aurel D’AgostinoAleksie, Anahit Karyan, and Samira.

Raks Naqtivity’s charitable goal this year is to raise $2,500 for “Cradles to Crayons” and judging from the fabulous success of the show last year, looks to do just that! What better way to usher in the holiday season than with a fabulous spectacle of world music and dance, compliments of the  Ahlam Selene Dance Company.


Event Details:

When: December 11th, Sunday @ 7:30 p.m.

Where: Cambridge YMCA

Tickets: $15.00 (General admission) / $12.00 (Group Admission– 4 or more)

                                        (Online purchase)

More Info:

Contact Nepenthe:

Contact Nadira:

(Area Restaurants)

December 4, 2011 at 11:19 pm Leave a comment

Lend a Helping Hand to Japan While Enjoying an Afternoon of Top-Notch Belly Dancing: May 22nd, Sunday (3:00 – 5:30 p.m.)

Boston’s belly dancing community is holding a benefit performance for the earthquake/tsunami victims of Japan and you can help. Just come on out to the show where you will enjoy, raffles, refreshment vendors, open participatory dance sessions, and of course … lots and lots of  fantastic belly dance entertainment! All proceeds will benefit the Red Cross for Japan. Performers for the afternoon will include:

Phaedra of Boston – Dancing since 1976, she was a dancer/choreographer for 12 years with the Near East Dance Theatre  which she co-founded. She has performed nation-wide, appeared in videos and on cds, and has also published a teaching book. Once featured in the Legends of Boston photo shoot, she currently teaches in the area. (Read on) (Video)         

Aurel – Known for the expressive musicality present her dance performances, she also enjoys a professional singing career which has led to solo performances  both nationally and abroad. She danced in honor of the opening of Boston’s Intercontinental Hotel and has also appeared at the Arabic Hafli event at Foxwoods Casino. She currently heads the belly dance program at Ancient Art Studios where she teaches and produces shows. (Read on) (Photos)    

Najmat – This Egyptian-style dancer of Brazilian heritage is known for her dramatic style which is highlighted by her note-worthy interpretations of drum solos. Currently teaching in the Boston area, she views the art of Middle Eastern dance as a source of feminine strength and empowerment. (Read on) (Video)  

Mirza Troupe – Representing the World Lebanese Cultural Union, this 25 member male/female troupe consists of both dancers and accompanying drummers. Under the leadership of artistic director/choreographer Shadia Tohme, a former professional dance and teacher for over 35 years, they perform a wide range of folk and contemporary dances from Lebanon, Greece, Egypt, North Africa, and Turkey.  (Read on) (Video)

Jemileh – Like her professional colleague Najmat, she too is noted for a highly emotional dancing style highlighted by note-worthy interpretations of drum solos. Performing and competing since age 12, she now specializes in Arabic and Turkish belly dancing. Her additional interest in the Tribal Fusion genre led to the formation of the local troupe Tribal Storm. A frequent performer at the infamous belly dance mecca, The Middle East Restaurant, she also teaches around the area. (Read on) (Video

Rianna – She has diligently studied a variety of dance genres for over 15 years including, acrobatics, jazz, ballet, Polynesian, Hip Hop, Irish Ceili, and Greek folk. Subsequently, she has managed to blend each and every one into her own unique style of belly dancing which is truly one of a kind. (Read on) (Photos

Alizah Afet – A performer and teacher of Middle Eastern dance for 15 years, she was formally with Goddess Dancing and has also performed with the Blue Moon Zar Gypsies and Big Moves Boston. Visit her very informative website, Belly Dance New England (see previous post) an online magazine listing current Middle Eastern dance happenings and other related local tidbits. As a true enthusiast of local belly dance history, she is the co-producer of a documentary on the subject entitled Aziza!  (Read on – Scroll down page) (Clips from Aziza)

Celia – Though she dances with high energy, this performer is still able to bring a distinctive element of grace to her performance as well. She will entertain you in this rather unique style with the zills (finger symbols, veil, hula hoop, and sword.  She has served as a choreographer for the Bellybeat Dance Company and currently is a regular performer at area restaurants. (Read on) (Video)

Sabaya – (Video)   

Zameena Asmar – (Video)

… and more. All in all, this definitely looks to be a great show for a great cause! 



Event Details:

When: May 22nd, Sunday (3:00 – 5:30 p.m.)

Where: Arlington Elks Lodge

Tickets: $20.00

More Info / Purchase Tickets: 617-642-0999 /

(Area Restaurants)

May 12, 2011 at 3:30 am Leave a comment

Join the Zamir Chorale of Boston and Their Very Special Guests in a Celebratory Musical Union of Arabic and Jewish Cultures: April 10th, Sunday (2:00 – 4:00 p.m.)

Weekend still open? Here’s a last-minute entertainment suggestion. 

Middle East Harmonies – A Musical Dialogue Between Arab & Israeli Cultures brings together 4 premier musical entities all of which are dedicated to a common all-important performance goal- that of the promotion of world peace and understanding through the wonderful inspirational power of music. Professor Joshua Jacobson of Northeastern University, creator of this honorable event, brings together his Zamir Chorale of Boston, founding members of the once world renown Arab/Jewish-Israeli instrumental ensemble Bustan Abraham, distinguished Turkish vocal soloist Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, the youthful Boston City Singers, and featured soloist Mireille Tannous in a performance to commemorate a special marriage of Israeli and Arabic music traditions. Represented here are two indeed distinct cultures who have sadly known much conflict between each other for centuries, however, on this glorious afternoon in April, will peacefully co-exist in “perfect harmony” with each other.  A related symposium on of the bridging of cultural differences through music, but in a broader context, will take place on the following Monday. 


A little bit about the performers:

Zamir Chorale of  Boston (Professor Joshua Jacobson – artistic director) – Since 1969 this highly revered Boston area choral ensemble has been advancing  the values of Jewish culture not only through performance but various forms of literature and educational outreach as well. Thus far they have recorded 21 cds and developed quite a following outside of the local area, both nationally and overseas in Israel and Europe. 

 Bustan Abraham (1991-2003) – Standing as a symbol of effective collaboration between Arab and Jewish people, this infamous instrumental ensemble began as the duo of Israeli-Arab, Taiseer Elias and American-Israeli Jew, Miguel Herstein. The group membership then expanded to as many as seven players who very successfully toured Europe and North America, recorded 6 cds, and were heard on the radio worldwide. The creation of Israeli concert promoter/musician Avshalom Farjun, this ensemble was known for its renditions of highly evolved compositions laced with a variety of artfully orchestrated musical elements and improvisational sequences.You can view the concert program for the afternoon here. This looks to be quite an event, not only from a musical entertainment perspective but from a culturally educational one, as well. 

Bustan Abraham in Earlier Days


 Mehmet Sanlikol (vocal soloist) – Professor Sanlikol holds a doctorate in music from New England Conservatory and has enjoyed a highly successful and varied career, both locally and internationally, as a performer, recording artist, composer, teacher, author, and producer. He is heavily involved with musical projects that demonstrate effective performance partnerships amongst musicians of different cultures in an atmosphere of peace and goodwill. He co-founded the highly respected local ensemble Dunya,  performers of contemporary Turkish music placed often times in a world fusion setting. He also produced a cd involving a first time collaboration of Greek and Turkish musicians from Cyprus which was so successful that he was featured on both NPR and PRI radio programs.


Zamir Chorale of Boston






You can view the concert program for the afternoon here. This looks to be quite an event, not only from a musical entertainment perspective but from a culturally educational one, as well.

Event Details:

When: April 10th, Sunday (2:00 – 4:00 p.m.)

Where: Sanders Theatre (Harvard Square)

Tickets: $54.00, $36.00, $18.00 (General Admission) / $10.00 (Students), $5.00 (Seniors 65+ )

More Info: 617-244-6333 OR Visit the website

(Area Restaurants)


April 8, 2011 at 1:45 am Leave a comment

Discover the Original Sounds of Israeli Composer/Bassist Haggai Milo Cohen & Friends: Jazz Fusion with Middle Eastern Flair … and More: November 26th, Friday (10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.)

Listen to Haggai Milo Cohen.

World music composer Haggai Milo Cohen (also known as Jatu) firmly believes that in order for any music to have “real value” it must convey most effectively to its listeners an emotional or philosophical message which truly comes from the heart of its creator. He will liken his basic jazz sound to that of  the standard Western genre heavily laced with additional traditional Israeli and Middle Eastern music elements. But wait … there’s more. Within in his original compositions, one can also hear influences of various Indian genres, trance, rock and roll, and hip-hop as well. Milo Cohen’s enthusiasm for experimentation with such an eclectic mix of genres should come as no surprise if you take a look at the long list of musicians of whom he considers to be his greatest mentors and/or sources of artistic inspiration throughout his career. Just take a look at his MySpace page and you’ll see what I mean! In addition, he has performed with a number of different ensembles over the years. Here is a partial listing of such musical collaborations, complete with sound links for you listening enjoyment, including: the Secret Music Project (SMP) (presenting, along with Milo Cohen, a new and original world music genre called “New Israeli Folk Improvisation”), Daniel Wright’s World Collective, Milo Cohen/Omer Klein duet, and the Ilan Bar-Lavi Quintet. Just recently, as he continues to expand his horizons, he has been contributing his talents in the area of mult-media works involving modern dancers, such as Boston’s Liz Roncka. He has even delved into the fashion photography industry. 

It’s not certain just yet as to exactly who Haggai Milo Cohen  will be appearing with at his upcoming concert at The Beehive in Boston’s South End, but you can be sure that you will be treated to a lot of his highly original jazz compositions, all of which he assures us are designed specifically leave his audiences in a state of peace and well-being. Undoubtedly, one of the very best things that music can do for us!








Event Details:

When: November 26th, Friday (8:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.)

Where: The Beehive (South End)

    Bar Menu Available / Table Reservations

Admission: No cover charge listed

More Info: 617-423-0069


November 4, 2010 at 2:44 pm Leave a comment

Travel the World with Jamey Haddad & Friends: Presenting Folk and Contemporary Music of Palestine, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Jews: November 3rd, Wednesday (8:00 p.m – 12:00 a.m.)

Jamey Haddad‘s “East-West Storytellers” are a group of select accomplished  musicians who have come together in a special collaborative effort to share some of their favorite world music with the rest of us lucky listeners. Enjoy an evening of fine folk and contemporary ethnic music from Palestine, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Jews. Members of this special quintet, who are originally from Palestine, Israel, and the United States, will be presenting some of their very own original compositions as a part of the evening’s program. Joining Haddad on drums will be, Itamar Borochov on trumpet, Ali Amar on qanun, Nadav Remez on guitar, and Noam Wiesenberg on bass.

As the leader of this special musical collaboration, world renown percussionist Jamey Haddad brings plenty of professional expertise to the table. He is a specialist in jazz, and world and contemporary music who is known for his musical versatility. Because he has performed so many diverse styles of music over the years, he has developed an uncanny ability adapt his playing style with respect to numerous different genres and thus is a popular choice for membership in collaborative artistic projects the world over. He is currently an associate professor at the Berklee College of Music, New England and Oberlin Conservatories, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2007, he was honored  in Modern Drummer magazine as one of the 4 best ethnic music percussionists in the world. In addition to his 9-year membership with Paul Simon’s band, he also enjoys regular playing engagements and/or touring opportunities with Simon & Garfunkel, Yo Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, the Paul Winter Consort, Esperanza Spalding, Betty Buckley, Nguyen Lee, Brazil’s Assad Brothers, and many other of the world’s most prominent artists.  Check out the rest of the details of this fabulous career on his website … And then, come on over to the Beehive in Boston’s South end and see what this special world music collaborative performance is all about.







Event Details:

When: November 3rd, Wednesday (8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)

Where: The Beehive (South End)

Admission: No cover charge listed

     Reservations / Menus

More Info: 617-423-0069


October 17, 2010 at 12:44 am

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