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Qatar concerts to foster music appreciation

Marasi to pay tribute to Arab music legend Abdul Wahab

Gulf News

Manama: Qatar Music Academy on Tuesday said that it would hold two free Arab music concerts later this month as part of its mission to foster music appreciation.

The concerts will be staged at the Museum of Islamic Art Atrium on June 13 and at the Katara Drama Theatre on June 22.

The concerts will celebrate the life and works of the Egyptian composer and singer Mohammad Abdul Wahab, a legend in the world of modern Arabic music whose melodies have captured the hearts of millions and made him a much-loved musical personality. The concert, Marasi’, will feature many of his best-known compositions.

The Arabic word describes a harbour where ships return home after long voyages, and is an apt name for the ensemble as they act as guardians of maqam musical heritage from all over the Arab world.

Marasi is composed entirely of teachers from Qatar Music Academy’s Arab Music Department.

“Marasi provides our students and the wider community with opportunities to explore theoretical, practical and historical interests in maqam music,” Abdul Ghafour Al Heeti, Principal of Qatar Music Academy, said. “This comes in line with our vision of promoting music appreciation and awareness in Qatar, to foster new talent and to preserve the legacy of Arabian musical culture. We welcome everyone to our two forthcoming concerts and to share in our passion for Arab music.”

The ensemble will perform on traditional instruments such as the oud, buzuq, nay, qanun, violin (kaman) and a variety of Middle Eastern percussion instruments such as darbukkah, riq, duhul and tar.

”We established Marasi to explore an eclectic range of classical, neo-classical and popular forms of Arab music from throughout the Middle East, and to showcase the compositional and improvisational techniques unique to our culture,” Eisa Boulos, Head of Arab Music at Qatar Music Academy, said. “Abdul Wahab is considered by art critics to have given modern Arabic songs their musical form, and these two free concerts will be a stirring tribute to this giant of Arab music.”

Qatar Music Academy is a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, and is dedicated to educating the next generation of young musicians.