The nine-day Sharjah World Music Festival (SWMF) 2017 recently unveiled their line-up of 24 award-winning international artists and bands from France, Spain, Holland, Ukraine, the United States, the UAE, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Cuba, Columbia, Egypt and Jordan. In this fourth edition, we have seen the addition of some fascinating new genres and quality artists, which promises a festival more entertaining than ever.
Speaking of new and unconventional genres – SWMF 2017 is bringing the famed eight-member French band, Chico and the Gypsies, to Flag Island on Thursday, 12 January at 9pm. Led by French-born Moroccan artist, Jalloul Bouchikhi or more popularly ‘Chico’, the band will perform Andalusian Flamenco, blending pop and rock in a characteristic gypsy style.
Bouchikhi founded ‘The Gypsy Kings’ in late 70s, and then went on to establish his own group Chico and the Gypsies in 1992.
Moving on to Friday, 13 January, Flag Island at 9pm will showcase a special night featuring international singer Hiba Tawaji, popular Lebanese singer and actress along with Oussama Rahbani, one of the most renowned producers and composers in the Arab world, with whom Hiba has been collaborating with since 2011.
Tawaji’s voice reminiscent of the fruits of longing, shone at the Rahbani theatre with Mansour Rahbani’s musical, The Return of Phoenix where she dazzled the audience with ‘Like the Wind’. She released two albums and participated in ‘The Voice – France’. Hiba has been recently cast in the famous French musical, Notre-Dame de Paris.
Rahbani is a member of Al Rahbani family who brought Lebanon’s Baalbek and Beirut’s Piccadilly Palace music to Sharjah, blending together occidental and oriental music. His compositions have been played by many acclaimed orchestras across the world. Oussama has produced, orchestrated and composed the music of several musical plays, and introduced the world to several musical talents like Hiba.
Tickets for both concerts are priced at AED 250 and AED 350 each for the general admission and VIP categories respectively, and can be purchased at the customer service counters of Al Qasba, Flag Island, Al Majaz Amphitheatre and Al Majaz Waterfront. Tickets are also available online at http://www.ticketmaster.ae/
The fourth edition of Sharjah World Music Festival will run from the 6–14 January 2017 in celebration of the best Arabic and Western musicians and bands from 14 countries. Every year, the SWMF hosts a collection of renowned singers, musicians and artists. Although the concerts’ titles and languages may differ, they all converge at one place, Sharjah, and fulfil their overarching purpose of entertaining and enlightening visitors from several countries and walks of life.
By organising this first of its kind festival, Furat Qaddouri Music Centre seeks to boost the cultural and art presence of Sharjah and the UAE, introduce various musical cultures around the world to the UAE community and add a new dimension to the emirate’s repertoire of tourist, art and culture attractions.