A very rare opportunity to experience the atmosphere of Christmas in the Arab world, at St Martin-in-the-Fields, gently lit by candles, Trafalgar Square, London, January 7 from 7:30 to 9:30 pm.
Hear Arabic, Syriac, Coptic and Byzantine chants, harking back to the time of Queen Zanubia’s Palmyra in the second century CE. The sound world of these chants is rich with quarter tones and virtuosic ornamentation.
The acclaimed singer and broadcaster Reem Kelani will lead the evening as compere.
The lineup includes Syrian mezzo-soprano Mirna Kassis; singer and composer Merit Ariane; the senior Melkite Greek Catholic priest in Britain, Shafiq Abouzayd; Jon Banks, a specialist on the accordion and Middle Eastern string instruments; Lebanese singer and ‘oud player Najib Coutya; Palestinian ud player Nizar Rohana. The full lineup of local and international artists and participants will be announced soon.
Arab Christmas is produced by Arts Canteen and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.