SAMI YUSUF – UNITED KINGDOM 15-JUNE//CAT:A
Bab Al Makina // 21h00
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We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.
The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,
and even if the harp should burn up, there will still be
hidden instruments to play.
This singing art is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl
somewhere on the ocean floor.
Djalal al din Rûmi
Sami Yusuf has been dubbed ‘the most famous British Muslim in the world’ by The Guardian and as ‘Islam’s Biggest Rockstar’ by Time Magazine. Beyond this fame – somewhat exceptional for an artist inspired by Sufi culture – Sami Yusuf embodies the expression of a true artist full of humility. Despite the temptations of all-devouring celebrity, he remains inspired by the vision of universal Sufism. And beyond the stadiums and the huge international concerts, Sami Yusuf, arranger, musician and composer, seeks a spirituality close to tradition – a tradition that is harmonious and generous, full of meditation and of beautiful flights of intelligence and mystery.
Shunning the ease of globalised, formatted oriental music and the widespread complexity of western modernity, he prefers to hark back to the sources of Persian music, of Andalus samaâ or Indo-Pakistani qawwali. Sami Yusuf possesses a sense of truth and authenticity that allows him to attract to his music those who pursue the same quest for spiritual harmony throughout the world.
Yusuf is therefore the very image of new oriental music. Evoking the cultural exchanges of the Silk Road, he is musically sustained by the source of many different traditions, those many tributaries that have watered the great river of mysticism linked to the forces of nature and the universe.
Sami Yusuf is a committed artist, fulfilling his aspirations in humanitarian action. As a UN Global Ambassador Against Hunger, he continues to celebrate peace and world harmony. It is not possible to list here the multitude of interventions in the face of so many ecological and political catastrophes in such countries as Syria, Pakistan, Haiti and the Philippines.