The first edition of The Archive Dubai’s ambitious new Gulf Music Festival is coming up on March the 22nd, at the Archive, Safa Park, Dubai. Given all the ambitions in the region in the field of high-profile art, ‘progressive’ Middle-East and North-African music is remarkably absent in the Gulf. The former ADACH’ Sounds of Arabia festival and notably the former WOMEX featured new music, and the Abu Dhabi Festival and the Abu Dhabi Art fair have incidentally programmed multidisciplinary music events. But especially Dubai almost appears to lag behind, outside appearances here and there in commercial club surroundings, but that that is not the music or the environment we aim at. In collaboration with the Brownbook and curator Neil van der Linden (of the Gulf Art Guide) the Archive launches a new festival that focus on new, progressive Arabic and other Middle-East pop and crossover music.
Among others the event features the Dubai based Jordanian musician Kamal Musallam (ex-Zaid Rahbani a.o.), the Gulf region’s première of Morocco’s new rising singer Oum and the region’s long overdue first performance of Zeid Hamdan (founder of Soap Kills and Zeid and the Wings and formerly of The New Government) with Maii Waleed.