The Bahrain International Music Festival takes place this month from October 10-16. Here’s a quick look at the artists involved
Time Out Bahrain staff
Simon Shaheen & Qantara
Simon Shaheen is said to be one of the most significant Arab musicians of his generation, performing solo and with his band, Qantara (which means ‘arch’ in Arabic). Formed six years ago, the group’s debut recording, Blue Flame, had 11 Grammy nominations thanks to its mix of Arabic music, jazz, Western classical and Latin American music.
Other recordings have included Two Tenors & Qantara, featuring tenors Wadi Al Safi and Sabah Fahkri, while performances have included concerts at WOMAD in the US and Sicily, the Montreal Jazz Festival and Beiteddine Festival in Lebanon, among others. Shaheen, meanwhile, has contributed to film soundtracks, such as The Sheltering Sky and Malcolm X. Saturday, October 10.
Orchestra Camerata Ducale
Hailing from Italy, the Orchestra Camerata Ducale was formed in 1992. Inspired by the music of the 18th and 19th centuries, the name pays tribute to the orchestra of the Ducal Chapel in Turin, which featured some of the country’s finest violinists. Those behind the orchestra have even tracked down previously unpublished musical texts, ensuring that the music performed is as faithful a recreation of those times as possible. The orchestra performs at events worldwide, and even puts of special concerts for children. Sunday, October 11.
Jahida is a prominent Lebanese singer, famous for composing music and applying it to the poetry of well known Arab, Lebanese and international poets. Her musical style is said to vary from classical to Sufi and patriotic, and she has performed all over the region. Her debut album, Katabtany, was released in 2007, featuring compositions of her own, with lyrics by Gunther Grass, Ahlam Mustaghanmi and Unsi El Hajj. Proving her talents know no bounds, she has even worked with Disney on the dubbing and recording of several Arabic children’s shows. Monday, October 12.
Rodolfo Mederoes Trio
Born in Argentina, Rodolfo Mederoes is an accomplished composer and arranger, considered by many to be one of the best players of the bandoneón (a concertina style instrument) in the world. Mederoes published his first recording in 1965, and released more in the 1970s with his band, Generación Cero, who merged jazz, rock and the music of Buenos Aires. More recent years have seen further collaborations, soundtrack writing, teaching and compositions, particularly with the tango style he knows from back home, fusing it with European influences picked up from a time living in Paris. He plays in his Trio with Armando De la Vega on guitar and Sergio Rivas on double bass. Tuesday, October 13.
Le Trio Joubran
Three oud-playing brothers, Le Trio Joubran are thought to be the only musicians of their kind in the world. The eldest, Samir, is said to have been playing since he was five, and had some success as a solo artist in the mid ’90s. As his brothers grew up, he slowly incorporated them into his recordings, and Le Trio Joubran have now released two albums. Their website lists the trio’s ‘heart-wrenching improvisations that tell of Palestine’, which is a subject Le Trio Joubran hold dear. As Samir says: ‘We have two battles to fight. The first is for our career, and the other is for peace in Palestine, and the end of the occupation.’ Wednesday, October 14.
The Duo Scaramouche are two piano players, Malvina Renault-Vièville and Filippo Antonelli, who have played in concerts all over Europe, often accompanied by a string orchestra. The blend of music played is a mix of classical and contemporary pieces. Originally from France, the work of the duo pays special attention to the ideas of rhythm and movement, sometimes featuring dance. Thursday, October 15.
Katie Guerreiro was born in South Africa to Portuguese parents, and has played music for most of her life. She founded a band after she graduated college that drew on her rock and folk influences, with herself as the lead singer. Over the years, she has recorded a number of albums, sometimes reciting the works of Portuguese poets to music. Friday, October 16.
Bahrain International Music Festival runs from October 10-16. All events will take place in the Cultural Hall, adjacent to the Bahrain National Museum, and are free to the public.