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Umsiyat Music Series Set to Return in January

Under the Patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced the return of the popular Umsiyat programme, which will bring two exceptional outdoor music concerts to the Cultural Foundation Amphitheatre in Abu Dhabi.

The Umsiyat series brings an illustrious mix of artists, genres and nationalities to the UAE capital to celebrate a diverse range of musical styles, with 2019’s two-day event taking place from January 8th to 9th.

The popular series fulfils the Department’s mandate to raise awareness about different genres of music from across the globe, whilst also safeguarding local musical heritage.

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “We are pleased to see the return of the Umsiyat series, which forms part of our mission to develop performing arts programmes in the emirate which will safeguard the traditions of music.

“The 2019 programme once again brings an exceptional and thought-provoking line up of artists to Abu Dhabi, which we hope will once again engage and entertain both visitors and residents. The acts across the two days cover a diverse spectrum of styles, with these performances intended to promote cross-cultural understanding, artistic innovation, the dialogue between music and poetry as well as encouraging creativity and innovation in the community.”

The two-night concert series starts with a performance by the talented young Syrian oud player and singer Waed Bouhassoun, who has chosen a programme perfectly in line with the spirit of the festival: The passion of poetry.

In the first part of her concert, Bouhassoun will sing poems related to mystical and earthly love, tapping into a vast repertoire of mystical and Arab-Andalusian poetry from the 7th to the 13th Century and even contemporary poetry. She has selected a collection of different verses that she has put to music and will sing accompanied by her Oud.

In the second part of the concert, Bouhassoun will focus on Nabataean poetry, which originated in the Najd Region in Saudi Arabia. Based on oral traditions, this poetry has spread from Saudi Arabia throughout the Arabian Peninsula, carried by Bedouin travellers.

The second night will see a performance entitled Mugham Souls, which will showcase the result of the combination of two voices from two different cultures. The show will present a unique mix of jazz and ‘mugham’, the traditional music of Azerbaidjan, in a performance that has already proved popular in many other countries.

The show is the result of French jazz player Pierre de Trégomain teaming up with Azerbaidjani Gochag Askarov, with both singers combining to gather the most talented musicians of their generation to create an unprecedented programme of traditional Mugham, original compositions and improvisations.

Their Umsiyat performance will mix musical traditions and genres and find new innovative musical languages.

The two performances will take place at the Cultural Foundation Amphitheatre at 8pm each day. Tickets are AED 100 and are available from Ticketmaster.ae

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