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Dash Cafés

Our Dash Cafés began with the launch of the Arabic Series in May 2010. The café holds a central place in the Arabic world as a place where ideas begin. As part of our Series -- a powerful celebration of Arabic artistic identity with artists from across North Africa, the Near East and the Arab Diaspora, the Dash Cafés challenged preconceived notions of Arabic culture by offering new perspectives and showcasing unheard voices.

A special one-off Arabic Café: "An Arab Spring?"
A panel conversation and live music from U-cef and The Arab League

25th October 2012 | The Flyover, London

An inspiring evening of conversation and music.

A lively panel of journalists, academics, artists and activists with first-hand experience from the region, will debate how the media has shaped our ideas of the “Arab Spring”. The panel includes Dr Fatima El-Issawi, LSE journalist, analyst, and Research Fellow whose current project looks at transformations in the Arab media industry within the current uprisings; Vanessa Hogkinson, a visual artist whose work engages in dialogue with Islamic art and culture; Dr Anne Alexander, Cambridge University research fellow who studies the use of digital media by movements for political and social change; and Khalid Abdalla, British-Egyptian actor, star of The Kite Runner, an active participant in the Tahrir Square protests and a founder member of citizen journalism collective Mosireen.

The panel is chaired by Turi Munthe, founder of citizen journalism website Demotix.

Then U-Cef And The Arab League will brew an excellent blend of traditional magrehbi music fused with dub, jazz and fresh urban beats that will transport you from West London deep into the heart of the Sahara.

Part of the Nour Festival.

u-cef.com

Art & Conflict - The Case of Syria

4th April 2012 | Rich Mix, London

A conversation around Art and Conflict – the Case of Syria with live music from the dash cafe house band. In association with Literature Across Frontiers and Firefly International.

What is the role of art in situations of conflict? Can art convey the horrors of war, interpret conflict and reveal  human nature caught in the middle of inhuman conditions in ways fundamentally different from journalistic reporting?  How can art that responds to conflict empower both the makers and the viewers?

These and other questions will be discussed by a panel chaired by The Independent columnist and commentator Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in conversation with the author of The Road from Damascus Robin Yassin-Kassab, Al-Hayat journalist and prose writer Ghalia Kabbani, cultural activist and director of Reel Syria Dan Gorman and others.

Tunisian singer Emel Mathlouthi

7 March 2012 | Rich Mix, London

Born in Tunis, Emel is a songwriter, composer, guitarist and singer who is bringing an amazing new sound to Tunisian music.

Endowed with an outstanding voice, she evokes Joan Baez, Sister Marie Keyrouz and the Lebanese diva Fairouz. Her captivating style is lyrical, with powerful rock, oriental and trip hop influences.

Emel began her artistic career at the age of 8 on stage at the small amphitheatre in the Ibn Sina suburb of Tunis where she lived until the age of 25. She then moved to France to pursue her career as a singer. One of her songs “Kelmti Horra” (My Word Is Free) was taken up by the
Arab Spring revolutionaries and sung on the streets of Tunis.

Dash Café and Zenith Foundation present
Vanishing Spaces; short films from Syria and Palestine

1 February 2012 | Rich Mix, London

6 shorts from Syria and Palestine (total 80 mins) reflect everyday lives played out in extraordinary circumstances, and poignantly record places and peoples that have endured existential turning points. The historic events referenced are still playing out today and have lost none of their power or resonance. Vanishing Spaces was presented by Zenith Foundation in summer 2011 as part of the London wide Shubbak Festival to great audience and critical acclaim.

“These observational art-house films present a vital addition to intellectual thought and artistic production” Little White Lies Film Review Magazine

El-Andaluz

7th December 2011 | Rich Mix, London

El-Andaluz are the leading exponents in London of classical Arabic and Andalusian music. El-Andaluz take the audience on a journey around the Southern shores of the Mediterranean, often beginning with a poetic and reflective Andalusian Nuba, then travelling on to the trance-like Sufi music of the Sahara. They never fail to end the evening by getting the audience on their feet dancing to the celebratory Chaabi music of Algeria, or to a classical Egyptian belly dance; this night at Rich Mix will be no exception.

Seeds of Creation

2nd November 2011 | Rich Mix, London

Seeds of Creation were established in 1980 by Berber musician, Seddik Zebiri, who, after travelling around the world, sought to create a band to explore his multi-cultural influences. As a six-piece band, complete with sax, trumpet, drums and bass, Seeds of Creation play an intriguing blend of traditional and popular Algerian music, mixed with reggae, Sahara blues, Gnawa trance and a touch of jazz. Having played in venues including the Royal Albert Hall and the Hackney Empire, Seeds of Creation are bound to get Rich Mix dancing!

Hjaz

5th October 2011 | Rich Mix, London

Hjaz is an inspired blend of Middle Eastern Song and Western Jazz. Egyptian/German singer Merit Ariane Stephanos, jazz pianist/composer Alcyona Mick and multi-instrumentalist Stuart Hall are breaking new ground, exploring Arab and jazz traditions through improvisation and experimentation. They draw on material from Lebanese legend Fayrouz, Arabic and Andalusian Mwashshahat, Sephardic songs and perform their own compositions.

“Middle Eastern intonation, elegance and emotional intimacy … built to a cinematic depth” Vortex Jazz Reviews 2008

Director Tim Supple in Conversation

7th September 2011 | Rich Mix, London

Fresh from the UK premier of Dash Arts' One Thousand and One Nights at Edinburgh International Festival, Dash Co-Artistic Director, Tim Supple will discuss the joys and challenges of dramatising Hanan al-Shaykh's adaptation of One Thousand and One Nights. The show is performed and created by actors, musicians and designers drawn entirely from the Arabic speaking world and reveals the true character of these ancient stories, Expect readings from Shahrazad, discussion about the origins of these tales and debate about why they are so relevant today.
Chaired by Marina Warner. 

A Night of Live Music

3rd August 2011 | Rich Mix, London

Seeds of Creation will hit you with the Arabic, Afro-Blues Fusion sounds and get you dancing! Founded by local legend Seddik Zebiri in 1979, Seeds of Creation pull on the lead man’s Algerian roots, well-travelled background and life experience, along with his diverse collection of fellow musicians. The sound churned out by this six-piece band, complete with sax, trumpet and bass, is irre​sistably danceable with an urban edge deeply steeped in North African traditional vibes. Having previously performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Seeds of Creation brew an excellent blend of traditional Berber music fused with Afro-Blues, reggae, Jazz and raw Psychadelic sounds that will transport you from the East-end of London deep into the heart of the Sahara. 

A Night of Films & Live Music: Phatwa and Slingshot Hiphop

6th July 2011 | Rich Mix, London

Part of the Mayor’s Shubbak Festival, our July Dash Café will be a night of live music and film, featuring a cinematic double bill of Phatwa and Slingshot Hiphop, plus live music from our Dash house band Fantazia Duo. Phatwa, (directed by Hala al Salam 2009) is a short music video based on Hala’s musician brother Yassin Al Salam’s personal experiences at the hands of US border control, and Slingshot Hiphip (directed by Jackie Reem Salloum 2008) depicts the lives of Palestinian musicians across Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

The Dash Café at Rich Mix will also feature our house duo Fantazia. Fantazia play a breathtakingly rootsy blend of Gnawa, Chaabi and Dance which draws on the vibrant rhythms and rich musical tradition of North Africa. Built around the original compositions of Algerian oud player Yazid, Fantazia’s irresistible grooves create a sizzling party atmosphere that soon has any audience on its feet and dancing.

Adel Salemeh & Naziha Azzouz LIVE

1st June 2011 | Rich Mix, London

Please join us to hear Paris based Adel Salameh launch his new album Awda with the beautiful vocals of Naziha Azzouz. Palestinian oud player and composer, Adel Salameh was born in Nablus, Palestine, in 1966. He started performing as a soloist while still living in the Arab World, but immigrated to Europe in 1990. He quickly established a reputation as one of the finest performers of the oud. He has performed in more than thirty countries including Japan, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, and numerous countries in North Africa and Europe.

The JazzAilleurs

6th April 2011 | Rich Mix, London

The Jazz’ailleurs play classical Arabic, Berber and Andalusian music from the Sahara with a hint of jazz. They are led by oud (Arab lute) player Yazid Fentazi who has performed with Cheb Mami, Cheb Sahraoui and the Turqui Brothers. His playing has been compared to that of the great Anouar Brahem. He is accompanied by the bass player Zad Adda, percussionist Eric Ford and pianist Eric Jerome.

Watch the performance >