Reem Kelani

Reem Kelani, at Seattle International Children’s Festival in May 2008

Reem Kelani
Reem Kelani
Reem Kelani, the Palestinian singer and musician, will be appearing with her band at the forthcoming Seattle International Children’s Festival in May.

Born in England and raised in Kuwait, Reem Kelani is one of the foremost scholars and performers of Palestinian music. With her engaging stage presence, angelic voice, sparkling wit, and a band that features some of the finest traditional and jazz players in London, Reem charts the cultural terrain of Arabic music. Her powerful concerts feature traditional songs learned on visits to Palestinian refugee camps, and her own compositions, that have brought audiences around the world to their feet.

The 2008 Seattle International Children’s Festival (SICF) will take place May 12-17 at Seattle Center and May 19 at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts in Tacoma. The annual performing arts festival for all ages presents an international lineup of circus, music, theatre, puppetry, dance and multimedia shows designed to educate and entertain students, their teachers, families, teens and adults alike.

Eighteen companies representing seventeen countries, including France, Colombia, Japan, Israel and Guinea are scheduled to perform. “This year’s Festival has a focus on powerful, pan-generational women artists in a variety of arts disciplines,” says Executive Director Andrea Wagner. “From a Colombian grandmother (Petrona Martínez) singing folk songs originally sung by women waiting to give birth, to a circus strong woman (Circa), powerful Guinean drummers (Amazones) representing an art form traditionally dominated by men, one of the foremost scholars and performers of Palestinian music (Reem Kelani), fiery flamenco (Savannah Fuentes), an actress who activates a magical interactive universe (TPO), to a little clay princess learning to find her own voice (Puppentheater Halle), these performances will inspire audiences of all ages and sexes.

Of course, we’re not leaving out the men – Jo Taira, Japan’s youngest winner of the prestigious National Puppet Contest, and the story of a young Ethiopian hero and his family’s journey to their new home in Israel (Nephesh Theatre), are joining in the act as well.”

Public tickets go on sale April 1st on line at or 206.325.6500.