El Far3i, Al Raseef & Z The People

Arts Canteen & Superculture present:

El Far3i, Al Raseef & Z The People 

Tuesday 21 August at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, 8pm.
Don’t miss this live music line-up featuring fantastic acts across Balkan, Soul, Arabic Folk, Acoustic Rap, Hip-Hop and more! 
El Far3i

El Far3i-الفرعي’s music can be described as a mixture of Hip Hop, Arabic Folk and Acoustic Rap and Arabic poetry. He believes in the power of his music and exploring and adapting the lyrics to fit the current social and political conditions.

Al Raseef ع الرصيف

A dynamic street band that plays a fusion between Arabic and Balkan music.

Al Raseef is a band and a musical idea that started in Ramallah, Palestine in 2011, that plays Arabic and Balkan music in vibrant and varied grooves, with a contemporary and new fresh arrangements. The sound is characterized by the versatile colors of wind instruments; brass and woodwinds, accompanied by a guitar and the drums; which sails you on a musical journey around the Mediterranean and its diverse cultures.

Z the People 

Z the People زين الناس is a singer, producer, and keys player from the Palestinian diaspora.

Born in the Washington D.C. USA and a product of many Soul and RnB influences, Z has carved a reputation for his style of mixing of Soul and Arabic music. His songwriting reflects the struggle of two worlds colliding, and the search for home in a scattered universe.

Get Tickets!

Olcay Bayır – Live in London!

Arts Canteen & Kazum present Olcay Bayır.
Friday 29 June at Rich Mix Main Space 8pm.

“Music is the greatest passion for which I have always had the biggest place in my soul. It is my true happiness. As I have been going through my life, I have nourished my emotions with various styles of music, regardless of national borders. I have been inspired, amazed by each of them.Now ,itis time for me to sing..”  – Olcay Bayır 

Olcay Bayırwasrecipient of a 2017 Women Make Music award from the PRS Foundation, Olcay Bayır is a boundary-crossing singer-songwriter with a gorgeous voice and a band offirst class musicians serving up dynamic and powerful songs with roots in Anatolia mixed with the cosmopolitan London vibe. 

This concert will showcase Olcay’s original contemporary song from her forthcoming second album, arranged and produced by Al MacSween and Giuliano Modarelli from award-winning band Kefaya *(winner Best Newcomer *Songlines Music Awards 2017) who also lead this evening’s band. 

Olcay (pronounced Ol-djai) was nominated as Best Newcomer in the Songlines Music Awards 2015 for her debut album, and was described by The Guardian as “an impressive newcomer to London’s vibrant global music scene.”

What people are saying : 

“Opera’s loss is certainly our gain” WOMAD

“An authenticity and emotional intensity that moves one to the core.” Al Arte Magazine

“A woman whose voice is extraordinary in range and emotional power”Shepherd Express Milwaukee

Get Tickets!

She is back! Oum with ZARABI

After the success of her first album Soul of Morocco, Oum is back with a new album and a new show entitled Zarabi which means “carpets” in Darija – the everyday language of Morocco. During the preparation of her new album, Oum met a group of women who weave carpets in M’hamid El Ghizlan (the same town which inspired her famous track Taragalte). These weavers have a very original way of making carpets using old clothes their clients bring to them.

Watching these women gathering the memories contained in the clothes from a family, a couple, a group of friends, or a single person brought together in a unique carpet, Oum immediately felt a strong link between their work and her way of writing and composing songs.

There is a clear parallel between the fact of assembling, weaving, and gathering in one creation many souvenirs and emotions, and the period of creation and recording of an album. The latter is finally the fruit of a patient research into the rich and fertile experiences of the artist.









All orders will be subject to a fee of £1.50 except if your tickets are free or if you are a member





Most of the songs are Oum’s original compositions, that she re-arranged herself. However there are four exceptions that confirm the freedom of expression and the boldness of this new project:

The themes are varied, but are all focused on a same idea: fragile freedom. Oum claims freedom in her life, in her relationship to music, to love or to the world… in the name of this idea of freedom, she develops a thematic dear to her heart: the expression of love and desire from a loving woman, as we can feel it on the song Jini.

Finally, Zarabi is a witness of the diversity of the cultural and musical identities of Oum, but is above all an intermeshing of emotions, souvenirs and thoughts, gathered in a same musical elixir, fragile and powerful, intense and harmonious.


A Moroccan of Saharan origin, Oum immediately impresses with her remarkable combination of power and sensitivity. With her sensual voice she explores the diversity of Moroccan music that she blends with soul and Gnawa and Hassani rhythms. Inspired by the music of her native country but also by the music of the whole African continent and by Jazz, she reveals a moving, sincere and engaged personality which develops a subtle musical world in which her Saharan origins echo.


‘This enchanting second album confirms the originality of her style and reveals Oum as the most exciting Moroccan songwriter of her time.’ Telerama

‘A river of acoustic songs written in Darija (…) weaving delicately Soul-Jazz and North African sounds, joys, dreams and melancholy.’ Le Monde

‘A transforming journey, dotted with poetic dreams and encounters’ FIP Radio (Fr)

‘With this new album Oum has established herself as an exceptional artist within the worldmusic scene’ Magazin Doppelpunkt


Contemporary Flamenco with Arab roots

This concert aims to highlight this connection and build on it with original compositions and renditions of melodies from Andalucia and the Middle East that shows the common thread that runs through these traditions.


Saturday 4 June 8pm – Rich Mix 
35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA


Oud player 
Attab Haddad has had an interest in flamenco more or less since he started playing the oud. Flamenco’s forms, rhythms and melodies have influenced a large part of his work and he is still fascinated by the connections between flamenco and Middle Eastern music. 

To get a taster of the evening, check this video of Attab Haddad Quintet. 

Attab Haddad Quintet & guests

Attab Haddad: Oud
Ramon Ruiz: Flamenco Guitar
Philippe Barnes: Flute
Naomi Wright: Cello
Matt Ridley: Double Bass
Antonio Romero: Percussion
Anita La Maltesa: Dance

TICKETS: £14 (advance)


The Nile Project

At Arts Canteen we’re very proud to join the Barbican alongside Kazum in organising an exclusive show by The Nile Project: 


Sunday 19 June 6.30pm (doors) – Islington Assembly Hall 
Upper Street, N1 2UD

See below for discounted tickets 




The Nile Project brings together musicians from east and north Africa to celebrate the richly diverse cultures that have flourished for centuries along the Nile River.

Resonant lyres and seductive strings from up and down the river—from its sources beyond Lakes Victoria and Tana to its delta in Egypt—have learned new musical modes, while buzzing timbres and ingenious polyrhythms support vocals in more than ten languages. 

Using music to spark conversation, the Nile Project carries powerful messages about a delicate ecological and political ecosystem. Bringing together cultures and communities all affected by the impact of climate change and modern life on the river, the project is a tangible example of overcoming obstacles and division through artistic collaboration.

This performance features Nile Project Collective musicians from Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Tanzania.

‘A euphoric international coalition’ – New York Times

‘seductive and beautiful […] nothing short of revolutionary’- Banning Eyre, Afropop Worldwide

‘a model for cross-cultural dialogue and cooperation’ – Guardian

Produced by the Barbican in association with Kazum and Arts Canteen

Doors open 6.30pm 

For our newsletter subscribers we have 50 special discounted tickets for £15 only. This offer expires on Monday 30 May, so be quick!

Use code 190616 upon checkout to apply the discount. 



AWAN: Textural Threads

Arts Canteen are excited to announce the full elements and textures for the ‘Textural Threads’ exhibition. A great collective show bringing the work of five Arab female artists, it will form an important part of this year’s #ArabWomenArtistsNow #AWAN Festival 2016.

FREE EVENT – Please register in advance.

The ‘Textural Threads’ exhibition will run from Wednesday 2 March until Saturday 19th March, 2016.

Curated by Najlaa Elageli, Founder of Noon Arts

from 6.00 pm to 10.00 pm



Five Women Artists:


Meryem Meg:

From an Algerian-Bulgarian background, Meg is a multidisciplinary artist with an MA in Graphic Design, who is currently working as a Designer with Nike, London. Her work focuses on symbolism where she often finds herself exercising subconscious healing through the depiction of themes such as fertility, birth and cycles within nature. Meg’s passion for race, gender and identity surfaces within her work and she strives to empower women by creating visual affirmations through her art.


Dima Nashawi:

Nashawi is a Syrian artist who believes that art goes hand in hand with social activism and is a powerful means for peace building. Her life and work journeys have taken her from Damascus, to Amman, to Beirut, and now London, where she is studying Art and Cultural Management at King’s College. With a BA in Sociology, Nashawi also studied Fine Arts in Syria. Her work experience began as an art illustrator-animator for magazines and online children sites; but, later, she took on social work with the UNHCR to help refugees in Damascus, who came from Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Iran and Iraq. Due to the war in Syria and found herself in Beirut working again with refugees, this time with children and using art as a means of healing. Nashawi’s illustrations are delicate, feminine, intricate and with many times a fairytale element to them. They reflect on her personal experiences so far, her travels around the Middle East and always engaging with the deeper subject of human rights around the world.


Nasreen Shaikh Jamal Al Lail:

Raised between Saudi Arabia and the UK, with an MA in Photography, Al Lail seeks to find solace through her art where agendas of identity, self and space are the tools of her practice. Her personal experiences have shaped the way she perceives fluidity and dynamism of cultural identities. Her art attempts to understand how interactions between collective memories of different cultures create a unique set of problems for the individual. She has been exhibited in the UK and Saudi Arabia and is also one of the Founders of Variant Space, a platform for emerging women Muslim artists living in the UK seeking a discourse through the visual arts.


Hania Zaazoua:

Zaazoua is an Algerian designer, visual artist and stylist. She is a graduate of Fine Arts and is the Design Director at Bergson & Jung in Algiers as well as having established her own interior design brand called ‘Brokk’Art’ in 2012. Zaazoua draws her inspiration from her wanderings, whether real or virtual, to create work that is an invitation to a teasing journey of the almost trivial dream world to exploring an alternative version of the society that she lives in.


Takwa Barnosa:

Barnosa is a young Libyan artist who is currently studying for her Bachelors in Fine Arts at the University of Tripoli. She is a very talented calligraphy artist who is venturing into the fusion of calligraphy with different forms of mixed media. Her work is a response to her daily struggles as a female living in Tripoli and what this entails. She seeks solace through her simple depictions of singular Arabic words that become descriptive of her inner landscape as well as of her surrounding environment.

Exclusive Media partner Al Ghad Al Arabi

Supported by Arts Council England.



Arab Women Artists Now

This is the Launch event of Arab Women Artists Now a one-day festival coinciding with International Women’s Day and will be a showcase for exceptionally talented Arab women artists working in the UK on 12 March.

It will increase the visibility of their work and expose new audiences to these under-represented communities and cultures.

Special guest : Juliana Yazbeck

Juliana Yazbeck was born in New Jersey, USA, to Lebanese parents who fled the Civil War. At the age of five, she moved to Lebanon and was raised there until, at 22, she moved to London. Juliana’s mixed background has influenced her musical style and political lyrics. Combining poetry and music, Western and Middle Eastern styles, and tribal beats with smooth harmonies, her songs tell stories focused on gender, war, displacement and love. Juliana is also a writer and music entrepreneur and is currently finishing her debut album.




March 2nd at 8.00 pm – 11.00 pm


Rich Mix

35-47 Bethnal Green Road

London, E1 6LA


020 7613 7498


The Journey

Joha explores the themes of loss of identity, home, diaspora and overcoming the physical and psychological boundaries created by conflict, specifically in his own personal story of growing up in Palestine.


اكتشف موضوعات: فقدان الهوية والمنزل والشتات والتغلب على الحدود المادية والنفسية التي أوجدتها الصراعات، وتحديداً في قصته الشخصية من النمو في فلسطين.

“The Journey’ operates on a number of levels. It is primarily a creative journey through the work of Mohammed Joha. However, it is also a journey of human experience in which determination, resilience and joy are affirmed” Valerie Grove


“الرحلة” تعمل على عدد من المستويات وهي في المقام الأول رحلة الإبداع من خلال أعمال محمد جحا. ومع ذلك، فإنها أيضاً رحلة التجربة الإنسانية التي تقرر وتأكد المرونة والفرح “فاليري غروف

Mohammed Joha – The Journey

A public viewing and music concert

Wednesday 3 February 8pm – Rich Mix


محمد جحا – الرحلة

معرض وحفل موسيقي

الأربعاء ٣ من فبراير الساعة ٨ مساءً 



Mohammed Joha bio:


Mohammed Joha was born in Gaza in 1978 and graduated in Art Education from Al-Aqsa University in 2003. Through mixed techniques of collage, painting and photography, much of his work has explored the questions and experiences of childhood, and the loss of innocence and freedom experienced by the current generation of children in Gaza. He was winner of the A. M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year Award in 2004. He has been selected for workshops and residencies in Amman, Jordan and Cites des Artes, Paris.


Besides participating in exhibitions worldwide, he had his first solo exhibition, Dreams in Black and White, at the Mosaic Rooms, London, 2011. Most recently, his ambitious project, The Jasmine and Bread Revolution, was shown in 2012 at The Courtyard Gallery, Dubai as well as exhibiting at Rich Mix, London as part of Despite, 2012, Traces and Revelations, Oriental Museum – Durham University 2014.


The private view featuring “Watan Trio” classic (muwashahat and maqamat) and popular Arabic music of the mid-20th century, the programme will include a selection of instrumental and vocal pieces from historically interconnected cultures in Palestine and from the wider Middle East.


The Trio includes


Saied Silbak, a highly respected composer and master of the Oud


Elias Farsoon, a renowned singer and Qanoon player


Iba` Abu Khalaf, an established percussionist and singer


Afterwards DJ Faisal Hamdan who will play an hour of his collection of Old Vintage Arabic Vinyl Record Albums.


Independent curator : Aser El Saqqa


Please join Arts Canteen for the Open House on 3 February, 6pm.

The event has free entry



Arab Christmas

January 8, 2016 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

| £10


Arab Christmas – Exploring the early Arab Christian Chants .

Come to experience the atmosphere as Rich Mix venue is gently lit by candles in a very rare opportunity to hear chants from the Aramaic/Syriac and Byzantine traditions, harking back to the time of Queen Zanubia’s reign of Palmyra.

It was in the second century, during the reign of Queen Zanubia, that Christianity reached the ancient Syrian caravan city of Palmyra. Her rule witnessed the emergence of the first church melodies out of the secular Aramaic music of Syria and Iraq.

Coptic Egyptian/German singer Merit Ariane Stephanos and Father Shafiq Abouzayd introduce the audience to this music, in particular to the chanting traditions of the Levantine and Byzantine churches.

The sound world of these chants is rich with quartertones and virtuosic ornamentation. Accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Jon Banks on qanun and santur, this concert illuminates the earliest roots of Christianity and celebrates the diverse musical traditions of the ancient Middle Eastern world.

Performed by Arabic song specialist Merit Ariane Stephanos with Lebanese priest and scholar Abouna Shafiq Abouzayd and multi-instrumentalist Jon Banks on qanun and santur.

– Merit Ariane Stephanos

Half Coptic Egyptian, half German singer and composer. Merit draws on Arabic classical and Western contemporary influences in her music and is passionate about exploring a dialogue between both cultures. In 2012, Merit, supported by a Finzi Trust Scholarship, Merit went on a three month trip to Lebanon to research Arab Christian chants.

– Shafiq Abouzayd

The senior Melkite Greek Catholic priest in Britain, has been a priest at the Maronite Church since 1987. Of joint Lebanese and British nationality, Rev Dr Abouzayd studied Aramaic-Syriac and Arabic at the monastery of the Lebanese Maronite Missionaries in Jounieh and is currently the director for the Aram Centre for Syro Mespotoamian Studies at Oxford University.

– Jon Banks

A performer with an international profile, specialising in early and Oriental string instruments. He has toured, broadcast and recorded with groups including The Dufay Collective, The Burning Bush, Joglaresa, the Jocelyn Pook Ensemble and Iranian ensembles with Fariborz Kiani and Davod Azad. He is a regular performer and musical director at the Globe and lectures on Middle Eastern music at Anglia Ruskin University.

– Najib Coutya

Singer and oud player was born in Tripoli, Lebanon, where he lived until moving to London in 1991. He had a very musical upbringing as his father was a choirmaster and singer of Byzantine and Arabic Church music, renowned across the Middle East. From a young age Najib was involved in his father’s musical traditions and singing regularly, and by the age of 11 he was leading a choir.

The Byzantine/Arabic music that Najib and his father practise is an oral tradition, consisting of a system of about 20 complex modes, full of quarter-tones, drawing from the Arabic maqam and Greek Byzantine conventions. Najib continues this today, with his own choir based at the Antiochian Greek Orthodox church, St George Cathedral, who have sung together for 18 years. There are only 9 members, which he says allows them more artistic freedom and room for improvisation than the larger choirs. They sing in Arabic, and their repertoire includes pieces traceable to as early as the 3rd century CE, but their main source comes from music sung in the churches of Constantinople in the 18th and 19th centuries; at the time a melting-pot of Turkish, Arabic and Greek cultures.

Najib is the co-founder of Ichos Ensemble. This group has a Turkish violinist, a Greek singer, and Najib, who plays the oud and sings. They play a mixture of Turkish and Greek songs, Greek rebetiko music and Arabic and Ottoman classical music. He also collaborates with Egyptian classical musicians in the maqam tradition, often playing material by legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthumm. Other music he performs includes muashshahat, Arabic formal poetry, and dor, colloquial Arabic poetry, both of which include extensive vocal and instrumental vocal improvisation, using the aforementioned modes.

Najib places equal importance on both continuing these traditions and innovating within them; by playing them correctly and authentically, but using new improvisations to keep them alive.

– Christelle Madani

Born in Lebanon, in a family of various musical talents, Christelle has been exposed to both western and oriental music including Byzantine and Arabic. With a soprano type of voice, she can sing both styles and in 3 different languages. She was a member of Saint Nicolas choir in
Beirut since the age of 15 and she is currently a soloist at the Arabic Antiochian Orthodox Church in London as well as singing in London with various contemporary artists.



January 8, 2016 
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Event Category:


Rich Mix 
35-47 Bethnal Green Road 
London, E1 6LA
+ Google Map
020 7613 7498 


Arabs Are Not Funny!


January 22, 2016 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

| £15

 After a very successful sold-out 4 editions, Arts canteen’s show “Arabs Are Not Funny” is back with a new line-up of comedians, representing the Arab world and surrounding regions, looking for an opportunity to showcase their talents.

Host: Shazia Mirza

“Her laconic one-liners represent something quite unique in modern comedy.”The Guardian

Revered, applauded, loved and reviled Shazia Mirza is an award-winning comedian and columnist, as much recognised for her literary prowess as she is for her unique comedic talents.

She has appeared on Have I Got News For You, a regular panelist on The Wright Stuff (Channel 5)The World Stands Up (Comedy Central) Last Comic Standing (NBC) Comedy Central, been profiled on CBS 60minutes in the US. Radio 4- A good read, The Now Show,

Shazia has performed her stand-up shows across the world – from the Edinburgh Fringe to Texas, USA to Dubai and Kosovo. She has particularly travelled extensively across Europe, where she is in great demand. Her hit shows have included The Last Temptation of Shazia Mirza and Portrait Of Shazia Mirza. Radio appearances include a regular slot on BBC Radio Scotland and The Now Show on BBC Radio 4.

Guest Headliner : Aatif Nawaz

Aatif Nawaz is an award-winning stand-up comedian and TV Presenter in London. His debut Comedy Show ‘Muslims Do It 5 Times A Day’ was a huge critical and commercial success, enjoying runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and London’s West End in 2015. ‘A man with big ambitions – This is brave, important comedy’ – Three Weeks.

Headliner : Prince Abdi

Stand-up comedian Prince Abdi described as “a refreshing act” by The Guardian, is a firm favourite on both the London and UK club circuits. Hailing from Somalia, he often makes creative and comic use of origins and identity in his jokes, and was nominated for best newcomer by the Black Entertainment Comedy Awards and came 3rd in the Revels Chortle Comedy Awards. A winner of ‘Your Comedy Star’ at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He is an instant crowd pleaser with a charismatic style.

All acts will be in English.

Supporting Acts:

– Houssem Rhaiem (Tunisia / UK)
– Sezar Alkassab (Iraq / Scotland)




January 22, 2016 
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Event Category:


Rich Mix 
35-47 Bethnal Green Road 
London, E1 6LA
+ Google Map
020 7613 7498