Baghdad by the Bay

With all the emphasis placed on political relations between the “Arab world” and the United States, there isn’t enough emphasis put on the kaleidoscopic landscape of Arab art and music. To the rescue: the Arab Cultural Festival. A showcase of Arab and Arab-American contributions to life in the Bay Area, the festival is a chance to see, hear, and taste the fruits of myriad traditions, as well as hybrids brought about by Northern California. The afternoon features performances by, among others, Saadoun Al-Bayati, whose musical vocabulary draws from his experiences of Sufi rhythms and Koranic recitation in his native Baghdad; Yassir Chadly, a traditional Moroccan musician who plays Maghrebi and Egyptian love songs and Gnawa religious music; plus Yemeni folk dancing by Qaba'el Al-Yemen Folkloric Troupe. Several other noteworthy acts with roots in places like Tunisia and Syria round out the day’s schedule.
Sun., Oct. 11, noon, 2009

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