Arab and Latin Music with Oumeima and Rolando

Posted On:
20 April, 2015

March 2015: Al-Bustan hosted guest vocalist OUMEIMA EL KHALIL and guest percussionist ROLANDO MORALES-MATOS for a collaboration with AL-BUSTAN TAKHT ENSEMBLE that culminated in a wonderful concert full of energy and talent. As some attendees and choir members remarked:

From younger members of the audience pulling out their phones, to the older members clapping along and smiling, I could feel the moment of sheer saltana – people rejoicing and experiencing a feeling similar to an American version of an ‘amen.’ – Jeanmarie

The placement of Rolando’s versatility and playfulness on top of the strong musical support provided by the Takht Ensemble was an exciting twist to the typical takht format… The combination of Latin and Arab rhythms highlighted the differences between the two styles and how their characteristics can be skillfully merged to create something refreshing and unique. – Ammar

I was impressed by Oumeima’s ability to transmit the feeling of deep sorrow and a feeling of longing for freedom in Marcel Khalife’s song. Her voice had a distinct quality to it that included inflections during her vocalization of each word with deliberate and careful detail. – Iris

Singing alongside Oumaima El Khalil was both nostalgic and exploratory at the same time. The memories of the Saturday mornings in which I would wake up to Fairouz as well as my memories back in the Middle East flooded back to me. – Rami

Photos by Chip Colson:

Oumeima sings “Baktiblak:

Oumeima and Rolando in “Al-Kamanjat”:

Oumeima sings “Il Hilwa Di” with choir members of the Arab Music Ensemble: