Next Event

Masterclass: Reem Kelani

Monday, April 8, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.

PONCHO Hall, 710 East Roy Street, Seattle, WA

Event has passed

Join us for this special masterclass with Palestinian singer Reem Kelani.

I thought, there she is, Reem Kelani, pouring every milligram of her being into this performance, her audience rapt, transported before her, and there's this precious, non-violent force transmuting a mouthful of air into articulate energy, an energy that evokes sympathetic vibrations through whole communities, giving hope and strength, lifting human spirits from out of their dark times.

Brian Robinson, Musicweaver

In addition to her masterclass at Cornish, Reem and her band will perform at Town Hall on Friday, April 12 at 8pm. For more information, visit

For the past decade, Palestinian singer, musician and broadcaster Reem Kelani has been working with some of the best British Jazz musicians, introducing them to and training them in Arabic music. She has toured extensively with her band, in the UK and internationally. Reem has also brought musicians together, extending her UK based line-up on international tours to include musicians from Syria, Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Portugal.

Reem’s profile in the Arab and non Arab world continues to grow, all the more to her credit as an unsigned artist who has preserved her independence, musically, spiritually and politically. Following her acclaimed British Council tour in Syria in 2007, Reem's “Anglo-Syrian” band performed at Jableh Festival, Lattakia in July 2009, in south-east Turkey in October 2009, at the Asian Games in Guangzhou in November 2010, and at World Music Shanghai in May 2011.

Joint projects
- Exceptional Turkish collective Kardes, Türküler
- Turkish Roma clarinet virtuoso Selim Sesler
- “From Palestine to Portugal” with Portuguese Fado singer Liana. A first of its kind, the project combined the poetry of Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish and Portuguese Nobel laureate José Saramago
- Duo Jazz project with the exceptional Jazz pianist Bruno Heinen

Special commissions
Reem’s acclaimed composition “Paradise in Strangers” with the Beating Wing Orchestra, an ensemble of locally based refugee musicians was commissioned by Manchester International Festival in 2007.
“If anyone can do it, that person is Reem Kelani. She has a genius for finding the universal in the particular. Her album, Sprinting Gazelle, introduced jazz musicians to Middle Eastern modes and was pure and profound. The 'f' word ('fusion') doesn't even apply.” Mike Butler, The Metro

- BBC Alba’s A’Gharaids series, featuring a special collaboration by Reem Kelani and Gaelic singer Catriona Watt, nominated for the Scottish Traditional Music Awards 2009
- Arab-British Culture and Society Award Nomination 2008 – a special commendation for Reem’s “notable contribution to our knowledge and understanding of the life, society and culture of the Arab people”
- Paul Hamlyn Foundation Breakthrough Fund Nomination, 2007
- Glastonbury Unsigned Bands finalist 2005


PONCHO Hall, 710 East Roy Street, Seattle, WA

Event has passed