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The Jerusalem based annual Oud Festival will return between November 8 and 24 with one of its most ambitious programs to date. Since its inauguration in 1997 the Confederation House event has grown from a modest two day affair to the biggest international ethnic festival of the year.
As in the last few years, the program includes several productions put together specifically for the festival, and some surprising confluences. Top rocker Barry Saharoff is no stranger to the event, having joined forces with oud player-violinist Yair Dalal a couple of years ago. This year, Saharoff will open the Oud Festival proceedings with a concert based on the works of 11th century Jewish Spanish philosopher and poet Shlomo Ibn Gvirol. Dalal, meanwhile, will team up with Spanish-oriented rocker David Broza in another intriguing pairing. Dalal, whose parents were born in Baghdad, has championed Arabic and Bedouin music for over a decade, and has incorporated Indian and other eastern inflections in his oeuvre.
Traditional music has always formed a core of the festival and, this year, there will be a concert devoted to the works of legendary Egyptian singer-composer Muhamma Abed El-Wahab while Muhammad Abu Ajaj's ensemble will present a program of Bedouin music and poetry.
One of the most eclectic shows at the festival will be fronted by Israeli born Hollywood based Yuval Ron. His concert will feature Palestinian folk songs, traditional Armenian tunes as well as Hebrew and Arabic songs from Andalusia and Morocco.
For more information about the Oud Festival go to: www.confederationhouse.org