Women in Music: Global Voices With Farah Siraj and Kiran Ahluwalia

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Date(s) - 02/11/2021
7:00 pm - 8:15 pm
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Please register by 4 PM today! Registration will close at 4. If you miss it you can still watch the livestream on Youtube

The Women in Music Series was conceived during the pandemic as a way to take advantage of increased accessibility to artists. With all content being delivered online, WNMU Cultural Affairs has created this series with the intimacy of traditional house concerts in mind. The series aims to bring global female voices to the fore, highlighting the journey women, and particularly women of color, take to the top of their field. Each Zoom session will showcase two women from different cultures, discussing their paths to success, sharing their music and stories, riffing off each other and taking questions from the audience.

The first in the series features Jordanian singer Farah Siraj and Kiran Ahluwalia, who was born in India and has since emigrated to the United States. For this series opener, Farah and Kiran have collaborated on an original composition which will have its worldwide debut at the event.

Registration here

Please feel free to submit questions for Farah and Kiran in advance by emailing Cultural.Affairs@wnmu.edu.

Kiran Ahluwalia Click to listen)
Two-time JUNO (Canadian Grammy) winner Kiran Ahluwalia and multifaceted guitarist Rez Abbasi are a real-life couple and music world duo. One of Indian origin, the other Pakistani, they perform songs of breakup and love with equal conviction. The combination of Kiran’s open-hearted vocals and Rez’s inspired and evocative guitar work seamlessly to bring together the disparate traditions of Indian music, West African Blues and Jazz so organically, that while the sound isn’t quite like anything you’ve heard, it’s combination ethereal elegance and raw urgency is immediately welcoming and ultimately universal. This is truly music for the moment and what the world could use a lot more of.

Farah Siraj (Click to listen)

Named Jordan’s Musical Ambassadress, jordanian virtuoso Farah Siraj balances a career that spans the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Farah has performed at some of the world’s most prestigious platforms, including the United Nations, Nobel Prize Hall, the World Economic Forum, The John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Lincoln Center in New York, MTV, Coke Studio, the TV show Good Morning Live in the USA and MBC TV in the Middle East. In addition, Farah represents Jordan annually on United Nations World Peace Day.

To this date, Farah has toured the Middle East, Europe, India, South America and the United States, spreading the message of peace through her music. In 2011 Farah internationally released her album entitled NOMAD, performing her original compositions, fusing influences of arabic music, flamenco, jazz, bossa and pop, with lyrics in Arabic, Spanish and English. The recordings took place in the Middle East, Spain and the USA, including more than 30 internationally acclaimed musicians from five different continents. After the success of NOMAD, Farah presented the world premier of her new work, entitled The Arabian Jazz Project, featuring original compositions and traditional middle eastern tunes set to a jazz context. As a result of the success of The Arabian Jazz Project, Farah was chosen as one of New York’s “Summer Stars of Jazz” and named “the Norah Jones of the Middle East” by New York Time Out.

In June 2014, Farah released her album, Dunya, meaning “world” in Arabic and Hindi. Farah currently leads an ethnically diverse quintet of Arabian Flamenco Jazz, with world-class musicians from the Middle East, Europe, the United States and South America, including music from all four regions. Farah and her band have toured the Middle East, India, Europe and the United States and South America with sold-out concerts in all four regions. During her tour of India, Farah shared the stage with India’s most renowned composer, A.R. Rahman, performing Zariya live on MTV. The song hit #1 in the music charts in India and the Middle East.

As a humanitarian, Farah focuses on raising awareness about the consequences of war and violence, and advocates for women’s rights, refugee rights and animal rights. In recognition of her humanitarian efforts, Farah was invited to perform at the United Nations Humanitarian Awards, and her music was played before the United Nations Security Council before passing a legislation regarding the genocide in Darfur. Farah approaches music as a medium for peace and a way to amplify the voices of people around the world who need to be heard.


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