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Pier Luigi Salami, keyboard | Shawn Crowder, drums

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"Here's a world diva with a difference." —The Guardian

Tunisian singer and activist Emel Mathlouthi earned the title "the voice of the Arab Spring" with her 2007 recording My Word Is Free—and in the process became her country's Joan Baez (her role model).

"I see art as a very revolutionary way to change mentalities,” says the Tunisian-born Mathlouthi. This potent artist is a singer of compelling, confessional impact, whose music embraces suffering, love, and an ache for home. Though her roots are in folk music, her sound mingles rock, trip-hop, and electronica with Arabic undertones. Her songs of freedom and compassion also earned her a spotlight at the 22nd Annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2015.


PRE-CONCERT TALK: At 6:30 pm, Dr. Ramzi Salti, host of the podcast Arabology, and Professor Joel Beinin set the stage in a discussion of the Tunisian Revolution, how it launched the Arab Spring, and how Mathlouthi's music became its soundtrack.


Arabology podcast with Emel Mathlouthi

 


 

This performance is part of the 2016-17 Live Context: Art + Ideas series.

Acknowledgements

      

This program is generously supported by the Western States Arts Federation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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