‘The Festival au Désert’s’ Exotic Trip

The 2017 Festival au Désert molds different cultures, societal perceptions, traditions, and music together from Mediterranean, African, and Middle Eastern countries through its three-day long festival in the city of Florence.

Contemporary music from numerous ethnic backgrounds will bring richness to the ears in a refectory courtyard across from Piazza Ognissanti, next to the church of the same name.  Admission is free and the public is welcome.

While to celebrating a multitude of traditions and beliefs, the 2017 edition of the festival aims to spread the message of brotherhood and positive energy through the music.

A number of groups will be present, and a notable one is the Almar’à orchestra of Arabic and Mediterranean second and third generation migrant women, (July 12, 9:30 pm). The performers range from multiple countries, such as Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, and Iran, reflecting the festival’s value of incorporating many cultures. Another interesting presentation will be French- Moroccan singer Hindi Zahra ad Riccardo Onori, who will collaborate to create a soundtrack primarily made of tribal and gypsy sounds (July 12, 10 pm).

An eclectic group, which mirrors a collaboration between African and Italian musicians, Fadimata Walet Oumar, will provide an interesting mix of vocals, saxophone, violin, keyboards, and percussion (July 13, 8:30 pm). One of the most original guitarists of Great Britain, adds Egyptian textures to his classical guitar training (July 13, 9:30 pm).

Apart from the concerts, there will be book presentations, meetings, and jam sessions. “Azalai 1500 KM Walk in the Desert,” a book by Carlo Maver (4 pm) will be presented along with the “Imagined Africans and Africa’s Reality” social meeting, featuring Luca Morino and Jacopo Tomatis (4:30 pm) on July 11.

Closing the festival will be a Jam Session by Caravane Pour La Paix (10:30 pm) on July 13.

Admission to the festival is free; for more information, visit www.festivalaudesertfirenze.com. (jennifer klammer)