At a time of upheaval in the Arab world, this time with great hope, Seattle welcomes legendary Algerian singer Nassima Chabane. The latest installment in Town Hall’s “In America” series, the program also features the Iraqi oud master Rahim AlHaj.
Co-sponsored by the Arab Center of Washington, the performance promises to be an emotional one, as it has been dubbed an “evening of solidarity” by Seattle’s Arab-American community.
This will be the first West Coast appearance by Chabane, the celebrated Algerian singer performing with her six-member ensemble. Her extraordinary mezzo-soprano voice is the foremost champion of Arab Andalusian music, a riveting blending of the millennium old sounds of Moorish Spain, mystical Sufi poetry, and the vibrant rhythms of North Africa.
Twice nominated for a Grammy, special guest AlHaj creates new music that blends his traditions with other world cultures. Although he’s been touring internationally, the Iraqi composer now makes the United States his home.
This rare and fortuitous appearance by two innovative and enthralling Arab musicians should make for a powerful celebration of Arab music, and of freedom of expression in the United States, Tunisia, and Egypt, as it will no doubt reflect the joy and fervor that’s sweeping the entire Arab world.If you go: Arab in America with Nassima Chabane and Ensemble and special guest Rahim AlHaj, 8 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 20), Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave. Tickets cost $19-22 in advance (800-838-3006 or brownpapertickets.com) or $21-24 at the door.