The Alliance Française de Melbourne and Multicultural Arts Victoria present
French composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist:
ALWAN TRIO, with BRAHIM BENHIM as special guest + a special performance by dancer Andrea (Underbelly Dance)
Location: The Corner Hotel, 57 Swan Street, Richmond
Date: 7 November 2012 at 7.30PM
ABAJI was born in Lebanon where his father, an Armenian-Greek from Smyrna, and his mother, an Armenian-Syrian born in Istanbul, met. They immigrated to France in 1976, shortly after the start of the civil war.
“Exile hasn’t been a cause of suffering but rather an artistic well, a place for transforming energy.”
Music is a family tradition. At the age of 11, Abaji started learning the guitar. Then other instruments followed: the clarinet, percussions, oud and bouzouki as well as various flutes he collected during his many travels. Later on, the transformation of instruments will allow him to synthesize his musical passions: Indian, oriental and blues music.
A meeting with the famous composer, Gabriel Yared was a decisive moment in Abaji's career. In 1996, he produced his first album "Paris-Beirut" singing in Arabic, French and English. Other releases followed: Bedouin Blues – which includes the song Gibran that record label , Network Medien selected for its compilation “Desert Blues 2“. Oriental Journey which received the Classica outstanding reference record label; and Nomad Spirit, which features three contemporary masters: Djivan Gasparyan Armenian, Ramesh Shotham, and Majid Bekkas.
Abaji has also composed and recorded music for film and television. Most recently, he produced music for the documentary feature film by Jean Deniau, "The Hostage Time," broadcast in France in April, 2009.
Musical encounters took ABAJI across five continents: from Zulus in South Africa, to the Indians of Northern Mexico, the Gnawas in Morocco or the Qawwali in Pakistan.
“I feed off my travels and day-to-day encounters, not just musical ones. They’ve made me what I am today. In turn, I try to offer the same to the people I meet along the way.”
Abaji’s performance in Melbourne will be part of an international tour including among others, Sydney, Auckland, Port Vila and Dhaka. Abaji’s concert will be supported by local trio Alwan, accompanied by Brahim Benhim as a special guest, and Andrea Makris, one of the leading figures in Australia's Middle Eastern dance scene.
This concert is organised with the support of the Fondation Alliance Française de Paris and the Embassy of France in Australia.
FULL: $20 + (b/f)
Tickets available from The Corner Box Office (57 Swan St, Richmond)
Online bookings at The Corner Box Office here!
Phone bookings 03 9427 9198
AFM MEMBERS & STUDENTS: $15 + (b/f)
To take advantage of the AFM discount please follow this link (please login)
Note that this discount price is available online only or on presentation of a valid card at the door on the night.
Want to learn more about the artists?
Alwan (the Arabic word for "colours") is a trio composed of Yuval Ashkar, Phil Carroll and Matt Stonehouse.
Yuval Ashkar trained with oud master Yair Dalal and has performed with sublime Ladino singer Yasmin Levi. He moved to Australia 6 years ago and recently moved to Melbourne from Byron Bay.Yuval has played in many festivals arround Australia with great musicians including Cleis Pearce, Greg Sheehan, Tunji Beier, Kurdish Earth and more.
Phil Carroll has recently returned from living in Turkey where he studied ney and worked as a musician in weddings, cafes and sufi ceremonies. He was leader of the Melbourne middle-eastern band Yalla! for 10 years , who played festivals in every Australian state.
Matt Stonehouse (The Reefers, Unified Gecko, Fingers of Fury) has worked extensively throughout Melbourne to great acclaim in a variety of percussive styles .He studied drumming overseas in Turkey and Iran
Andrea (Underbelly Dance): www.underbellydance.com
Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_4-Y47kwZ4
Andrea is a leading figure in Australia's Middle Eastern dance scene and she has been the Director of Underbelly Dance, Melbourne's leading exotic arts company, since 2001. Andrea delivers passionate performances in a vast range of Middle Eastern and Turkish dance styles and has performed at major festivals across the country and abroad.