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May 17, 2001
Event: A sound that rivals Umm Kalthoum



At her concerts in NY at the Symphony Space on May 5th and in DC at the Freer Gallery/Smithsonian on May 11, Farida Mohammed Ali proved to be the caliph of Egypt's Umm Kalthoum and Iran's Heida. From maqam to another, from a folkloric song to the most challenging classical Iraqi maqam, Farida was in absolute control performing with great confidence and joy. What a powerful voice and what a presence!

According to the NY Times (Tuesday, May 8th, 2001), "her voice was sumptuous, with a purity and swelling fervor that reminded one American listner of Linda Ronstadt. The songs sounded as if they were made for her"

The Iraqi Maqam Ensemble, with its leader and Jawza player, Mohammed Gomar and greatly talented musicians; Santour player, Wesam Al-Azzawi and percussionist, Abdellatif Saad, performed outstandingly. A shower of long and warm applause and several Bravos came out of a large audience when the ensemble performed an incredible conversation of rhythms on various Iraqi and Middle Eastern percussions.

The musical tour will take a place next at

1- the Mass College of Arts (621 Huntington Ave. in Boston, Mass.)
on Saturday May 19th, 8:00 PM sharp
Tickets: $50, $30
Call (617) 864- 6327 or page (617) 486-9232
Tickets will NOT be sold at the door

2- the Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E.
Chicago Cultural Center
Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602
Free to the public
Information: 312-744-6630