This March marks the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by U.S. forces and its allies. Through performances in New York, DC, and several other cities, Alwan for the Arts is presenting a compelling and significant look into Iraqi culture. In collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, multiple ensembles will be joined by several pillars of Iraqi culture to demonstrate the universal beauty and constructive force of the culture of the Middle East; more information.
Chicago will have the opportunity to experience the U.S. debut of one of Iraq's most famous maqam singers, Hamid Al-Saadi. Al-Saadi is the only living vocalist to have all 56 of Bagdhad’s maqams, the centuries-old, highly detailed, orally transmitted basis for the music once found at courts and in coffeehouses across Iraq. Al-Saadi’s profound knowledge combines with a subtle sense for maqam’s rhythm, poetic lyrics, and melodic intricacies.