Usama Baalbaki Performs with National Arab Orchestra at the "Taking Back our Narrative" Event presented by Arab America Foundation and Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The Arab America Foundation is excited to announce Usama Baalbaki, Co-Founder of the National Arab Orchestra will perform as part of the “Taking Back Our Narrative” event on the weekend of February 17 to 19, 2023, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Baalbaki, an Arab vocalist and ‘oudist of Lebanese American origin from Kuwait, will perform with the National Arab Orchestra (NAO) during their concert on Friday, February 17, 2023, at 8:00 pm.
The concert highlights some of the Arab world’s most treasured pieces of music with a performance that will showcase the rich beauty and diverse heritage of the Arab world, all brought to life by the National Arab Orchestra. This concert will also feature performances by Arab vocalists, Nai Barghouti and Lubana Al-Quntar.
Usama Baalbaki, a Lebanese American, was born in Kuwait. He began studying music at the age of eight learning to play the ‘oud and accordion, eventually playing and singing at the age of twelve on “Mamma Anisa,” a Kuwaiti children’s television program. Moving to the USA in 1987, Usama established himself as an active performer whose musical ability has led him to travel across the nation; sharing the stage with many great artists from the Middle East and the United States, including artists such as Tony Bennet. As a result of his singing and community involvement: Usama played the role of Egyptian composer and singer, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, in the play Rasasa fi al Qalb written by Tawfik Hakim. In 1999 Usama received the AMAL award from ANA/MBC Radio and TV in Washington D.C. for the best Arab American vocalist. In 2000, he composed music for the Meadow Brook Theater’s production of Arabian Nights, written by Karim Alrawi. In 2005, Usama participated in Opera America’s Opera Conference 2005: Diverse Voices. Usama is a co-founder of the National Arab Orchestra and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
The Arab America Foundation (AAF) is a non-profit (501c3) educational and cultural organization. The mission of AAF is to promote the Arab heritage, empower and educate others about the Arab identity, connect Arab Americans, empower youth, and build coalitions with diverse organizations across the U.S.
February 17-19, 2023: “Taking Back Our Heritage” at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The Arab America Foundation (AAF) and the Kennedy Center, Conflux Programming Initiative, present “Taking Back Our Narrative,” February 17-19, 2023. The initiative will celebrate Arab heritage and highlight the contributions of Arab Americans to America with performances, art, and film screenings.
Presented in collaboration with the Kennedy Center, Conflux Programming Initiative, “Taking Back Our Narrative” speaks to the fullness and diversity of the Arab American experience, values, and cultural landscape throughout the United States.
Artists performing at the event include the National Arab Orchestra on Friday, Arab pop vocalist, Emad Batayeh on Saturday, a short film festival on Sunday sponsored by the Arab Film and Media Institute, and an art exhibition curated by Arab American artist, Helen Zughaib throughout the weekend.
Art Exhibit Curated by Helen Zughaib, All Weekend
Helen Zughaib is a painter and multimedia artist living in working in Washington, D.C. Her themes are centered around hopefulness, healing, and spirituality, using visual arts to shape and foster positive ideas about the Arab World. Her exhibit will be displayed in the Eisenhower Theater Display Case. She has also been selected for the 2021-2023 inaugural social practice residency by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.
Friday, February 17, 2023
Special Kick-Off Reception, Taking Back Our Narrative” Sponsored by the Arab America Foundation
By Invitation Only
Join special guests of the Arab America Foundation, government officials, and sponsors, as we kick off this historic collaborative effort with the Kennedy F. Center for the Performing Arts, celebrating the diversity of the Arab American experience, values, and culture.
The National Arab Orchestra at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater
Featuring vocalists Nai Barghouti, Lubana Al-Quntar, and Usama Baalbaki under the direction of Maestro, Michael Ibrahim
Tickets are Sold Out.
Founded in 2009, the National Arab Orchestra, (NAO), a nonprofit, is dedicated to elevating and preserving Arab culture and musical traditions in the United States and beyond through performance, education, outreach, and collaboration. Under the leadership of founder and Music Director Michael Ibrahim, the NAO creates memorable, high-quality musical experiences that keep Arab culture alive and thriving. These concerts bring the beauty of Arab music to entirely new and diverse audiences.
This concert highlights some of the Arab world’s most treasured pieces of music with a performance that will showcase the rich beauty and diverse heritage of the Arab world, all brought to life by the National Arab Orchestra.
Saturday, February 18, 2023
Arab Pop Vocalist, Emad Batayeh at the Millennium Stage Grand Foyer
Tickets are Sold Out.
Emad Batayeh is one of the leading Arabic vocalists in the United States. Batayeh is also a musician and producer. Born to a Jordanian family in Detroit, Emad inherited his musical talents from his parents who encouraged him from a young age to pursue music as a career. He became known as a musical genius as a kid. He now performs at Arab American cultural events across the U.S.
Sunday, February 19, 2023
Arab Film & Media Institute Film Screening at the Justice Forum at the REACH
Tickets are Sold Out.
The Arab Film and Media Institute (AFMI) is a non-profit organization founded by the team behind the largest and oldest Arab Film Festival in North America. AFMI aims to be a complete ecosystem to find, nurture, and showcase Arab talent in the United States. Starting with organizing school screenings, and growing into offering filmmaker services and original programming, AFMI is the place for Arab cinema and its fans, and the home of the Arab Film Festival.
Admission is Free, Tickets are Available Soon at this Link
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