The Mediterranean Sea has been the focal point of trade and cultural exchange since ancient times. Not only merchandise, but art and music have made their way back and forth across the Mediterranean for centuries. In European music, a dividing line is often drawn between ‘Western’ music on the one hand, and ‘Arabic’ music on the other, but historically there has been no clear geographical boundary to where musical traditions have formed.
Cappella Amsterdam takes you along the coasts of the Mediterranean, showing how these different traditions are linked, counterbalancing traditional East-West contrasts with a vision of a rich culture formed around a fluid centre. The choir works with three supremely talented guest artists to explore new musical synergies and the limits of choral music.
Ud player, multi-instrumentalist and singer Ahmed El Maai, is considered one of the most promising young musicians in Morocco. With his roots in traditional Andalusian music, he has been exploring new styles, collaborating with musicians from all over the world.
Amira Medunjanin is a leading interpreter of sevdalinka, bluesy folk music from Bosnia and Herzegovina that contains elements from both Arabic and Western traditions music, and rhythms from the Balkans.
Lebanese singer Rima Khcheich is internationally acclaimed for her unique rendition of classical Arabic muwashshah (a song form dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries), ancient Byzantine songs, and collaborations with jazz musicians.