Saffron Caravan Guest Artists

HAROON ALAM

Haroon Alam, a tabla disciple of the great maestro Ustad Tari Khan, has been playing tabla for the past 20 years. He performs in the DC-metropolitan area on a regular basis and has had the privilege of playing with some well-known Indian and Pakistani artists. Notable performance venues include The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian Free Arts Gallery, and The Stone in NYC.

SAIDA CHARAF

Often referred to as the Sahraoui Diva (Saharan Diva,) Saida’s magnificent voice continues to brighten the African skies. She shined most notably in her past performance as lead vocalist for UNESCO’s Water for Life concert by Jean Michel Jarre, especially in the piece, Assahratou Lakoum. A native of Laayoune, she holds a degree in Arabic literature.

HAMID EL KASRI

Born in 1961, Hamid El Kasri began exploring the Gnaoua sufi music at seven years of age under the guidance of his Grandfather, a Sudanese slave who brought with him an uncommon mastery of this spiritual genre. With a powerful and lucid voice coupled with his astonishing artistic range, Kasri flawlessly marries the musical tones of the North with the religious sounds of the South. Kasri has become one of Morocco’s most outstanding Gnaoua vocalists, and as in centuries past, has trained his 13 year-old Daughter in this ancient musical tradition.

SAAD LAMJARRED

Gifted with an exceptional voice and musical depth, Saad finished second in the 2007 Arab Super Idol competition outranking thousands of other youth. Dubbed the Julio Iglesias of the Arab world for his signature style, tour-de-force performances, he graced the stage of the Super Idol competition’s grand finale. He recently recorded his first album.

MAESTRO HANY MEHANNA

One of the most notorious composers and performers of the Arab world, The Cairo Opera House recognized Mehana with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 16th Arab Music Festival just two weeks ago. His extensive artistic record includes numerous musical compositions not only for major singers in the Arab world, but also for 88 motion pictures and 34 television series.

TONY PESIKAN — Read bio here.

PETER YARROW (Peter, Paul and Mary) Guest Artist – September 2011

Peter Yarrow’s commitment and life’s work have been framed by his awareness that music of conscience can be extremely effective as part of affirmative social and political efforts. As a performer and social activist, Peter has used music in just this way – both inspiring and bringing people together to create a just, peaceful and compassionate society. Through such efforts beginning in the early 1960s, the music of Peter, Paul and Mary became, for literally millions of people, the genesis of their personal activism and life-long commitment to advancing positive societal change. Many issues have moved Peter to commit his time and talent, including equal rights, peace, the environment, gender equality, homelessness, hospice care and education.

Peter’s gift for songwriting has produced some of the most memorable songs in music history including Puff, the Magic Dragon; Day is Done ;Light One Candle and The Great Mandala.

Peter is committed artist and soul to his foundation Operation Respect’s effort “Don’t Laugh at Me” (DLAM) – a project based on his passionate belief that the power of music to build community and be a catalyst for change can be a powerful educational tool and source of inspiration for children and educators alike. DLAM utilizes social and emotional development curricula in combination with music. In over 20,000 schools across America as well as internationally, this combination continues to spark the creation of a climate of respect.

COMPOSER FOR OUR 2007 MOROCCAN TOUR: SAID EL AZIZI EL ALAOUI

Maitre El Alaoui, a native of Casablanca won the prestigious Premier Prix de Violon from the Casablanca Conservatory of Music, prior to assuming the Director of Casablanca’s Cultural Center of Sidi Belyout. He also served as Professor of Violin at the conservatory, and lead violinist for the Casablanca Symphony Orchestra as well as the Amana Orchestra. He toured extensively and headlined in major festivals in France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Tunisia, Algeria, Peru and the US. In 2002 he also wrote the score for What a Wonderful Life and was hired by Jean Michel Jarre, the legendary French musician and composer to compose the arrangements for his landmark Water for Life concert held in the Saharan desert to benefit UNESCO. (Live audience of 30,000+ , worldwide broadcast to millions, 60 million albums sold)

FUTURE GUEST ARTISTS:

Alex Koffman- Russian Violinist and Pianist
Morikeba Koyate – Senegalese Kora Player

Original Music Created for Saffron Caravan – available upon request

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