Rainforest World Music Festival 2008, Bridging Various Cultures Through Music with Adel Salameh

Naziha Azzouz
Naziha Azzouz

At the Rainforest World Music Festival, held July 11 to 13, Adel Salameh will be performing with an equally accomplished Algerian singer Naziha Azzouz. The two met in 1998 when Azzouz was studying Arabic music with the oud maestro. Their performances at the festival will be accompanied by percussionist Adel Shams. Their musical partnership has resulted in the release of two albums entitled Nuzha and Kanza.
Described by French newspaper Le Monde, as “the voice coming from paradise”, Azzouz had started singing old Andalusian music at a very young age. Born in Algeria and moved to France when she was 12, Azzouz had also performed in Algeria, France, Morocco, UK and Canada.An accomplished oud (Middle Eastern lute) player Adel Salameh is very passionate on bridging culture through music. This Palestinian composer believes that music, being a universal language, is the best tool to do so. For that reason, he has worked with Turkish, Spanish, Indian, French, English and Israeli musicians in the hope of breaking cultural barriers.

Born in Nablus, Palestine more than 40 years ago, Adel Salameh started performing as a solo oud player while still living in the Arab World. He quickly gained the reputation as a master oud performer after migrating to Europe in 1990.

Since becoming the finest oud performer, Adel Salameh has toured more than 30 countries showcasing his skill and talent to the various audiences.

Apart from Adel Salameh, the other renowned performers that had been enlisted to perform at the festival include Beltaine from Poland, Cholo Valderamma (Colombia), Fadomorse (Portugal), Hiroshi Motofuji (Japan), Kasai Masai (Congo/UK), Pinikpikan (Philippines), Ross Daly Quartet (Greece), Sheldon Blackman and The Love Circle (Trinidad and Tobago) and Yakande (Gambia/Guinea).

They will be joined by local groups like Sarawak Cultural Village cultural troupe, Anak Jati Orkestra and Kan’id.

Together, all the bands are expected to showcase their best in providing the festival goers with a memorable time at the 11th edition of the festival. This is in line with the organiser’s aim at elevating the standard of the event as a premium music festival in the region.

Organised by Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and presented by Celcom Mobile Sdn Bhd, the RWMF had won the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in 2006 and had been enlisted as a top ten World Music Festival at the World Music Expo (WOMEX) in Spain last year.

To enrich the visitors’ experience at the festival, two fringe events have also been included in the RWMF program. They are the Rainforest World Craft Bazaar (July 9-15) and Folk Art Forum (July 10-13).

Tickets to the festival are priced at RM90 per day and RM250 for three days for adult and RM45 per day and RM100 for three days for children between three and 12 years old, are available online at www.ticketcharge.com.my and at the Visitors’ Information Centre in Kuching (tel; +6 082 410944), Sibu (tel: +6 084 340980) and Miri (tel: +6 085 434180).

Details and update on RWMF 2008 are available on the festival website at www.rainforestmusic-borneo.com.