Bnat El Houariyat and Esraa Warda: Courtesy of the artist
JOE’S PUB ANNOUNCES SECOND ANNUAL 2022 HABIBI FESTIVAL SCHEDULE OCTOBER 11-15
SOUTH-WEST ASIAN AND NORTH AFRICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL WITH NOURA MINT SEYMALI, BEDOUIN BURGER AND THE AMERICAN PREMIERE OF BNAT EL HOUARIYAT & ESRAA WARDA AND YACINE BOULARES NIGHT IN TUNISIA
HABIBI FESTIVAL & JOE’S PUB INTRODUCE AJOYO, ESRAA WARDA & THE CHAAB LAB, FIRAS ZREIK & MALIKA ZARRA AT THE BRYANT PARK SUMMER CONCERT SERIES ON AUGUST 26
Joe’s Pub announces the Habibi-Festival full line-up of artists for its second annual edition, which will take place over five evenings, October 11-15. The festival debuted four sold-out nights at The Pub in 2021. In October, the Habibi festival will bring audiences sounds from Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Palestine, Lebanon , and more. Co-founded and organized by a musician Yacine Boularesproducer Meera Dugaland the manager of Joe’s Pub Alexander Knowltonthe festival immerses New Yorkers in the music of living rooms, radios and dance clubs in the Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA) region. “We are thrilled to have the ground-breaking Habibi Festival into our fall season following its phenomenal debut in 2021,” says Knowlton. Tickets are on sale now at joespub.com.
“This year’s artists all bring new life and context to age-old ceremonial traditions, whether it’s HAT using samples of traditional musicians in their DJ set, or Noura Mint Seymali bring psychedelic rock to the griot tradition” notes Boulares. Seymali, the essential torchbearer of the Moorish griot tradition and daughter-in-law of the legendary Dimi Mint Abba, will open the festival alongside the Algerian dancer Esraa Warda who returns to the Habibi Festival with his collaborator, Khadija El Warzazia, a pioneer of Moroccan music and one of the first women to publicly perform Gnawa music, a tradition historically dominated by men. With its all-female vocal and percussion ensemble Bnat El HouariyatEl Warzazia adds its Marrakesh flavor to both the Houara music of southwestern Morocco, mostly reserved for women-only gatherings, and Chaabi, the country’s beloved “popular” music.
“Kicking off the festival with a double-header from Noura Mint Seymali and Bnat El Houariyat featuring Esraa Warda will send shockwaves through New York – these two powerful ensembles take traditional music to ecstatic new heights. We are delighted that New York audiences are omnivorous with their musical tastes and hope they enjoy finding connections with and across the spectrum of early to contemporary music in this year’s lineup. Dugal said. Showcasing the local diaspora community in New York is also key to the festival. Opening of the Bnat El Houariyat plateau on October 12 is an Iraqi singer based in New York Zahra Alzubaidi, a proponent of musical styles from the south of the country as well as Iraqi maqam.
Joining Bnat El Houariyat in their American premiere is Night in Tunisiaa Boulares project that brings together a supergroup of artists from all geographical and musical traditions of Tunisia, from Stambeli to Hip Hop. “And if Dizzy had stayed more than “one night” in Tunisia housed in barracks during the Second World War? What if he was hanging out in Tunisia right now in 2022? He could hear ancient traditions such as Maalouf, Stambeli and a huge rhythmic culture that shaped Tunisian rappers, jazz musicians and traditional musicians. This is the philosophy of this project: to bring “A night in Tunisia” home, shares Boulares.
Young Palestinian kanun player, Firas Zreik, holds the classical music side of the festival at a young age became the first soloist and kanun player of the Arab National Orchestra. Flavors of the region’s underground music scene come from the Lebanese-Syrian duo Bedouin burger which combine the electronic rhythms of the Levant with Arabic poetry and Hatim Belyamani aka HAT, a Moroccan electronic artist and founder of Remix ⟷ Culture who remixes traditional music and video from around the world in an audio-visual journey covering everything from Amazigh folk songs to Afro-indigenous Brazilian processional music. In addition, each performance will be accompanied by a conversation with the artist in collaboration with Afikraa global organization that aims to promote understanding of the diversity and richness of the cultures and histories of the Arab world.
Dugall said, “Whether you belong to these cultures or not, you can feel the story in the music, it’s a visceral experience. When it’s hard to find footing in an ever-changing world, it’s grounded and humbling to experience a sound that’s been in the making for hundreds of years. It’s also beautiful to see artists bring a playful twist to their torchbearer status – it reminds us that we are part of a long continuum of creativity and beauty that extends far beyond this moment.
Click here for tickets and more information about the Habibi Festival
New Yorkers will be able to taste the philosophy of the Habibi Festival this summer during a pop-up concert as part of Bryant Park’s summer concert series (August 26). Featured artists include Firas Zreik and his trio, Esraa Warda & Le Châab Laband Yacine Boulares AJOYO with special guest, award-winning Moroccan singer Malika Zarra.
Click here to learn more about the Bryant Park concert on August 26.
2022 HABIBI FESTIVAL SCHEDULE – October 11-15, 2022 at 7:00 PM EST
Night 1 | October 11, 2022: Noura Mint Seymali + Bnat el Houariyat & Esraa Warda
Night 2 | October 12, 2022: Bnat el Houariyat & Esraa Warda + Zahra Alzubaidi
Night 3 | October 13, 2022: Night of Yacine Boulares in Tunisia + Firas Zreik
Night 4 | October 14, 2022: HAT + Night of Yacine Boulares in Tunisia + Nour Harkati
Night 5 | October 15, 2022: Noura Mint Seymali + Bedouin Burger
Our audience policy requires a full COVID-19 vaccination on the date of attendance for access to the facility, theaters and restaurant. Please read the full policy here.
JOE’S PUB, a Public Theater program, was named in honor of Public Theater founder Joseph Papp. Since opening in 1998, Joe’s Pub has played a vital role in The Public’s mission to support artists at all stages of their careers with an intimate space to perform and develop new work. Joe’s Pub presents the best in live music and performances every night, continuing its commitment to diversity, production values, community and artistic freedom. In addition to one-night-only concerts and multi-night engagements, Joe’s Pub hosts the annual Habibi Festival, which features artists representing contemporary and traditional music from the SWANA (South West Asia/North Africa) region. , and The Vanguard Award & Residency, a year-long exhibition series that celebrates the career and community of a prolific and influential artist, including Nona Hendryx, Judy Collins, Laurie Anderson and Barbara Maier Gustern. With its intimate atmosphere and superior acoustics, Joe’s Pub presents more than 700 shows featuring artists from around the world and welcomes more than 100,000 spectators each year. Beyond public performances, Joe’s Pub also runs artist development programs like New York Voices, a commissioning program that helps musicians develop new performance projects, and Joe’s Pub Working Group, a development cohort and collaboration led by artists. Current artists commissioned include Daniel J. Watts and Nick Blaemire, Liza Paul and Bahia Watson, Sunny Jain, Vuyo Sotashe and Chris Pattishall, and treya lam. Joe’s Pub is supported in part by an American Rescue Plan Act grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support general operating expenses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
About Habibi Festival
Created with the aim of providing insight into contemporary and traditional music from the South West Asia and North Africa (SWANA) region, the Habibi Festival aims to take listeners on a journey of sounds that float on the airwaves and in living rooms in cities ranging from Marrakech to Baghdad. . This new performing arts festival is a collaboration between Public Theater Joe’s Pub director Alex Knowlton, artist/composer/curator Yacine Boulares and curator/producer Meera Dugal who are bound by the goal of creating spaces happiest for performance, conversation, and storytelling from this part of the world. Learn more at www.habibi-festival.com.
The Habibi Festival is made possible thanks to the support of partners Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre, The Center for Cultural Vibrancy, Artistic Freedom Initiative, Tamizdat, Villa Albertine and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
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