Date(s) - 11/18
Common Fence Music
Common Fence Music, 933 Anthony Road, Portsmouth, RI
Tickets $25 adv/ $28 door
Virtuoso oud player and composer Rahim AlHaj, born in Baghdad, Iraq, has found in his ancient instrument, whose written history spans some 5,000 years, a unique voice that speaks passionately to contemporary listeners of every musical background. Deftly combining traditional Iraqi maqams with contemporary stylings and influences, AlHaj seeks to translate into music the suffering, joy, anxiety, and determination that he has experienced and witnessed in his lifelong struggle against injustice as an Iraqi, a political refugee, and today as an American citizen. Since moving to the US, AlHaj has worked with artists across many genres including Bill Frisell, Indian maestro Amjad Ali Khan, and the Kronos Quartet. He has received many accolades for his work as a soloist, including two Grammy nominations in 2008 and 2010, a 2009 US Artist Ford Fellowship grant, and in 2015, an NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award. Performing live with percussion and santur (hammered dulcimer) accompaniment, AlHaj communicates with a compelling immediacy that bypasses cultural obstacles.
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