Ilham Al Madfai


ilham_al_madfai sos-from-above-panel
Date : Saturday October 2819h:30
Location : Koerner Hall   Toronto
Hall Capacity : 1,135
Price : $50 – $65 ( + Taxes & Hall Processing Fees)
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Born in 1942, Ilham Al Madfai is an Iraqi guitarist, singer and composer. Ilham’s synthesis of Western guitar stylings with traditional Iraqi music has made him a popular performer in his native country and throughout the Middle East and beyond.

Ilham began studying guitar at age twelve, and in 1961 he formed “The Twisters”, Iraq’s first rock and roll band.

Following a three-year sojourn in Kuwait with the group, Ilham moved to England to complete an engineering degree. While in London, he became a regular at the Baghdad Cafe, where he met fellow musicians Paul McCartney, Donovan and Georgie Fame. Returning to Baghdad in1967, he began to mix Western and Eastern instrumentation and rhythms.

Ilham developed a major following in Iraq in the 1970s, but Saddam Hussein›s rise to power in 1979 compelled him to leave and take on construction jobs around the Gulf for much of the following decade.

Ilham returned to Iraq shortly before the First Gulf War and was subsequently banned from leaving the country. He emigrated to Jordan in 1994, where he presently resides. Ilham was granted Jordanian citizenship by the late King Hussein, for exceptional talents and achievement. On 9 August 2010, he was the featured artist at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Sultans of String (Canada)

Thrilling their audiences with their genre-hopping passport of Celtic reels, flamenco, Gypsy-jazz, Arabic, Cuban, and South Asian rhythms, Sultans of String celebrate musical fusion and human creativity with warmth and virtuosity. Fiery violin dances with rumba-flamenco guitar, while bass and percussion lay down unstoppable grooves. Acoustic strings meet with electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound, while world rhythms excite audiences to their feet with the irresistible need to dance.

Since forming 10 years ago, Sultans of String’s CDs have hit #1 across Canada on Top Ten national radio charts, and have received multiple awards and accolades, including 3 JUNO (Canada’s Grammy) nominations, 1st place in the ISC (out of 15,000 entries), 3 Canadian Folk Music Awards, plus special guest recordings and sharing the stage with artists such as Bruce Cockburn, Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains, Richard Bona, Benoit Bourque (Bottine Souriante), Nikki Yanofsky, Alex Cuba, Ruben Blades, Crystal Shawanda, and Ken Whiteley.


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Ilham Al Madfai

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Sultans of String



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