Louvre Abu Dhabi to celebrate opening with concert series featuring Ibrahim Maalouf and Fatoumata Diawara

The performances will be held in the grounds of the museum, which is to open on Saturday, November 11

HAVANA, CUBA - DECEMBER 18:  Fatoumata Diawara performs at Teatro Mella during the 32nd Festival Internacional Jazz Plaza de la Habana on December 18, 2016 in Havana, Cuba.  (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)
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An eclectic group of French world music artists are coming to Abu Dhabi to celebrate the opening of the Louvre.

Ibrahim Maalouf, Fatoumata Diawara, -M- and Totó la Momposina will perform in the precincts of the museum, which will open to the public on Saturday, November 11. Each of the artists is to headline a night in a live concert series that will run from November 11 to 14, which will also feature performances by local and international dancers and art workshops dedicated to families.

-M- (real name Matthieu Chedid) will start the celebrations on Saturday, on the opening day of Louvre Abu Dhabi, with his brand of upbeat pop-rock which has earned the French musician nine Victoires de la musique (the French equivalent of the Grammy Awards) over the course of a three-decade career.

On the Sunday, the Malian-born Diawara will take to the stage with her jazz, funk and modern take on her homeland’s Wassoulou folk music tradition.

On Monday, pioneering Lebanese-French trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf performs at the Saadiyat museum. Maalouf has played a leading role in blending modern jazz with Middle Eastern melodies and rhythms. That virtuosity will be on display when he performs a jazz interpretation of the classic Arabic text One Thousand and One Nights.

The series will come to a close on November 14 with the evocative sounds of Totó La Momposina. The 77-year-old Colombian singer and dancer will showcase her body of work and its influences from the African, Native Indian and Spanish music traditions.

In addition to these headliners, each night will also feature other concerts and local and international dance displays, and art workshops dedicated to families.

Guitar aficionados will welcome the partnership of French-Vietnamese guitarist Nguyên Lê with Korea’s Baraji ensemble in a performance of pieces blended with African and jazz stylings.

The French-Indian duo Floy Krouchi and Sumathi Rumi will keep things edgy and avant-garde through the performance of their composition A Stream of Love, which combines bass and electronic sounds.

On the stage, Mali’s Awa Troupe of Sangha will provide a glimpse of local culture through the Dogon Masks Dance, a ritual linked to the West African country’s ancient Dogon people.

This should dovetail nicely with performances of Ayala, a form of dance native to Emirati history and culture. Ayala has been acknowledged by Unesco, which placed it on thes Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, in 2014.

Dance fans will also revel in the Almasty, a routine choreographed by acclaimed French dancer and choreographer Myriam Gourfink, in addition to a solo performance by New Zealand's Lemi Ponifasio.

Two immersive arts projects will also be on display during the opening days of the museum. Music TV, a video montage created by Emirati artist Hind Mezaina, looks at what constitutes our collective memory. While Group F, renowned for their pyrotechnic shows, have been commissioned to create a spectacular light show on the opening night.

As part of the museum's ethos to reach out to families as well as art fans, a series of workshops will cater for children ages 6 to 12. Participants will learn how to create geometric patterns, masks and sketch objects from the venue’s art collection.

“Creativity, cross-cultural understanding and humanity’s innate fascination with discovering new ideas and traditions from around the world are at the heart of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s ethos and collection,” said Louvre Abu Dhabi director Manuel Rabaté.

“The spectacular opening week programme really is a celebration of diversity, bringing together talented musicians, artists and performers from countries spanning the globe, and will offer a colourful and unforgettable experience to launch this project.”

For more details go to www.louvreabudhabi.ae


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