The Arts Center at NYUAD always has imaginative, slightly leftfield, programming for its annual mini-festival of world music. This opening day (of two) features ecstatic Italian pizzica tarantata and propulsive Algerian Saharan rhythms in what the Arts Center’s copywriter describes as “an exciting cross-boundary musical conversation”.
Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino was established in Puglia in 1975 by the writer Rina Durante, the first and most important group to major on Salentinian music from southern Italy. Now led by his award-winning multi-instrumentalist son, Mauro Durante, CGS have updated their sound to create a fascinating reinterpretation of tradition and modernity that revolves around the pizzica tarantata, a popular Italian folk music supposedly based on an ancient healing ritual against the bite of the tarantula.
Sharing the bill is Lemma, a powerful all-female band from Algeria’s Saoura region who play a joyful symphony of several music genres from the spiritual to the most earthly. Their rhythm is rich and borrows from many genres – ’arûbi (a free and repetitive rhythm) and haddâwî (the rhythm of the wandering mystics of the Moroccan brotherhood of Sidi Haddi) as well as other rhythms and melodies from all across the Maghreb.
Standard single-gig tickets are AED 150, a two-day pass is AED 250 (NYUAD students get a discount, of course).
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