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Music | International, Senegal, US

Youssou N’Dour

Fri, June 5 | BAM Howard Gilman Opera House

Youssou N’Dour kicked off Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas, performing songs that draw on his Islamic beliefs, African heritage, and global experience. more info

June 2009

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Brahim Speaks

In this exclusive audio interview, renowned Moroccan oud player and percussionist Brahim Fribgane describes his love of sound, his life of music and the broader significance of Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas.

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Kamilya Jubran: Crossing Boundaries, Borders

Palestinian singer Kamilya Jubran's 2008 album Makan provided the artist with an opportunity to focus on poetry, with the album featuring the words of poets Salman Masalha and Fadhil Al Azzawi, among others. Listen in on a sample from the track Lafz:

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And read on for more on Jubran's style and the poetry she sings.

A Glimpse of the White Station

In this clip from Seifollah Samadian's The White Station a heavy snowstorm engulfs people on a Tehran street, suggesting myriad metaphors in what the filmmaker has described as an "austere poetic statement."

The White Station is part of the Asia Society Museum's exploration of current Afghan and Iranian visual art, Sight Unseen, on display June 9 through September 13.

Parissa Sings

Renowned classical Iranian vocalist Parissa performed, singing the words of poet Rumi as part of the festival Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas.

Listen in on a sample of Parissa's track Man Gholame Ghamaram from her 2008 album, Simplicity.

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The Sufi Spirit

Read more about the Aissawa trance ritual and listen in on clips of the group in performance, in this special online feature.

Video: Diponegoro Revealed

In this stunning new footage from Java, Indonesia, choreographer Sardono Kusumo shares the latest incarnation of Diponegoro, performances of which were held at the Asia Society as part of Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas.

zerobridge connects

Listen in on personal reflections, coming directions and a sample of the music from the lead singer of this Kashmiri-American outfit. zerobridge performed as part of the Muslim Voices at BAMcafe program during the festival.

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An Iranian Poet, Lost

Considered to be one of Iran's most influential poets and filmmakers of the Twentieth Century, Forough Farrokhzad's work confronted themes of trauma and alienation. Read more about the poet's life and work in Prof. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak's essay.

Now Seen: Sight Unseen

In this clip from Afghan artist Rahraw Omarzad's The Third One, a woman's veil assumes multiple meanings.

Omarzad played a key role in the establishment of the Center for Contemporary Art Afghanistan (CCAA). He is one of Afghanistan’s first avant-garde video artists and is an important figure in the young Kabul art scene.

“This film focuses on one of the principle debates about Afghan women, and it invites the viewer to think about logical solutions," Rahraw Omarzad said of The Third One, one of the films presented in Sight Unseen.

Sight Unseen is on view at the Asia Society, now through September 13th.

The Third One

New York Masjid: The Mosques of New York City

Edward Grazda's documentary project New York Masjid: The Mosques of New York City presents a fresh look at the New York Muslim community in recent years.

As part of Muslim Voices: Arts $ Ideas BAM hosted an exhibition of Grazda's photography. We present here a look at some of the photo on display, together with further information about the Muslim community in New York.


Raising Voices, Raising Spirits

Qawwali, a 700-year-old tradition of hypnotic praise music, expresses the mystical Sufi practice of Islam in South Asia. Read more about the art of qawwali in this essay by UCLA scholar Hiromi Lorraine Sakata. Read more scholarly essays in our Resources section of this website.

Listen in on a clip of Pakistani qawwali master Faiz Ali Faiz performing with his ensemble.

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Master qawwali singer Faiz Ali Faiz of Pakistan participated in the Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas festival, performing together with gospel singer Craig Adams in an exuberant celebration of praise music.

Youssou N'Dour: The World Music Titan

Youssou N'Dour, an undisputed giant of world music, performed live at BAM as part of the Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas festival. A pioneer of the exuberant Senegalese style of music known as mbalax, N'Dour was introduced to American audiences on seminal albums such as Paul Simon's Graceland and Peter Gabriel's So.

As part of the festival, BAM also hosted the New York premiere of the film I Bring What I Love, directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. The film follows the making of N'Dour's Grammy Award-winning album Egypt-- an album that marks both the artist's powerful Muslim faith and his impassioned plea for a more tolerant view of Islam.

The Bosses of Beatbox

Adam Matta and Kenny Muhammad The Human Orchestra are two of the world's leading human percussionists, known as beatboxers. They are among a range of the contemporary artists who performed at BAMcafe as part of Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas.

Learn more about the artists that are a part of Muslim Voices at BAMcafe, and check out a rare sample of Matta and Muhammad performing together in this exclusive footage.