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When a concert series is sold out for three years, it is already a small sensation. We are talking about the legendary Arab Song, which used to take place in the Werkstatt der Kulturen and has now found a new home with an optimal atmosphere in the Zigzag Jazzclub. Under the direction of Moroccan oud player and fusion musician Alaa Zouiten, all music enthusiasts can experience an explosive musical Hafla.

Hafla? A Hafla is a little bit of party, a little bit of transcultural jam session, a little bit of surprise. The most important thing is the interaction - between musicians on stage, between musicians and audience - and also the exciting interaction between Arabic, European and world music spheres. Hard to describe, must be experienced. One thing is for sure, we warn you already: it is addictive.


Master of ceremonies is Alaa Zouiten, born in Casablanca. There his musical career began as a master on the oud, the Arabic lute, and led from training at the Conservatoire National de Marrakech to sideman of the fusion band "Jbara". In parallel, he continued his musical studies and completed a Bachelor's degree in Music Education and Philosophy at the University of Erfurt in 2013. This was followed by a master's degree in Transcultural Music Studies at the Franz Liszt Hochschule für Musik in Weimar. He released several albums as a bandleader.

Further important stations of Alaa Zouiten were the musical direction and the performance with the "Global Arabian Music Orchestra" in the Berlin Philharmonie, the performance at the "Requiem for Syria" in the Dresden Philharmonie, Bienal del Flamenco in Sevilla (sept 2020), the tours of "TALKING OUD 2020/2021" in France, Germany, Spain and Morocco, as well as the UK tour with "Making Tracks 2022 "LA CARAVANE DU MAGHREB is a Berlin-based band consisting of three permanent, but often several musicians of different origins. Their repertoire consists mainly of traditional Moroccan music, including Gnawa, Malhoun and Chaabi, but also Algerian Rai music. For several years Redha Bendib (percussion & vocals), Miloud Messabih (percussion, accordion & vocals), Belbachir Youssef (vocals) have been playing together in several projects, representing the North African region at numerous cultural events in Germany. The different nationalities and musical influences have helped to create a very diverse palette of North African music.

This time the fantastic Merve Akyildiz is featured. The young singer and pianist with Turkish and Macedonian roots was born in Izmir and studied piano at the Antalya Conservatory of Music. In addition to her classical music education, she has professionalized herself in various styles: Folk, Jazz, World Music, Oriental Jazz and Ambient Music. The artist has won numerous prizes in piano and vocal competitions in Turkey and Europe and has been performing solo concerts with her Merve Akyıldız Project since 2018. She performs as a soloist with the Berlin Babylon ORCHESTRA and is also one of the singers of composer and conductor Tolga Taviş's YuMaK team, which performs with various symphony orchestras.

Naoufal Montassere is a Moroccan guitarist who plays a unique fusion of Flamenco & Latin guitar with oriental influences without losing the essence of each style. Growing up in a musical environment, he had the chance to play with many renowned national and international artists, which greatly influenced his artistic development and sound. His passion and openness allow him to express the different languages of the guitar in his compositions, developing an authentic and original sound. In particular, the emotional depth, his multicultural influences and the creative, free spirit reflected in his playing make him a very special discovery.

Rafat Muhammad is an Egyptian drummer based in Berlin with a wealth of experience as a live performer and in the studio. He has collaborated with many renowned artists and moves effortlessly between pop, soul, African, oriental music and jazz.

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