15.45-16.35, Stage 1 • Saturday
The conflict in Syria caused many artists to leave their country. Last summer, 50 musicians and singers were reunited by Africa Express as The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians for a European tour alongside guests including Damon Albarn, Rachid Taha, Paul Weller, Bassekou Kouyate among many others.
For many of the Syrians, it was the first time they had seen each other since outbreak of conflict six years ago. The exhilarating shows - including one in London broadcast worldwide by YouTube - and subsequent live album, were widely acclaimed. A number of this wonderful orchestra have since settled in Britain and Europe, continued working together and are delighted to bring their amazing energy, remarkable Arabic classical music and beautiful melodies to the Cambridge Folk Festival, and hope to shine a light on Syria’s beautiful culture as a contrast to events in the news.