Beirut-born Mayssa Karaa carries her music from the "American Hustle" soundtrack to Canada this month
Lebanese American Mayssa Karaa , luminary vocalist from American Hustle -film-Soundtrack- White Rabbit-Arabic brings her powerful and haunting vocals to Toronto, on Saturday, May 24th to the Queen Elizabeth Theater.
In the midst of war and sadness in the Middle East, emerges Mayssa Karaa's multi-lingual and inspiring young voice which brings hope and a musical bridge between two worlds. Royal Star Tour Inc and their presenting sponsor the Canadian Arab Institute along with Toronto luminaries have joined forces to present this unique musical evening featuring Mayssa Karaa and special guest Marcus Nand, Escale, where Rock meets Tradition.
Mayssa Karaa, together with her ensemble of traditional and rock musicians will perform soul stirring arrangements of familiar Arabic-French traditional melodies along with debuting her new contemporary rock compositions from her upcoming album. She will also perform her hit song from American Hustle, White Rabbit- Arabic. Mayssa combines her classical music/vocal training from Berklee college of Music with her deep understanding of her Lebanese cultural roots in this musical amalgamation. She is joined on stage by masterful new age Flamenco guitarist, and British Rock Singer-Songwriter Marcus Nand whose multi cultural roots via UK-Spain and now the United States has won him International acclaim. Karaa's will perform live for the first time live her new single "Over Again", a powerful rock ballad with lyrics evoking ones inner strength to overcome adversity and finding one's own voice. Nand and Karaa will also perform together their new duet, "A Voice of a Friend" a reflective rock melody driven by their stunning vocals and Nand's passionate gypsy-rock guitar rhythms.
Karaa, a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music was chosen late last year to sing a new Arabic rendition of the iconic song by Jefferson Airplane "White Rabbit". The song was adapted in Arabic by renowned American composers and music producers Dawn Elder, Mark Batson under the direction of American Hustle's music supervisor Susan Jacobs. "This is the first time Arabic lyrics are highlighted in such a manor in a major Hollywood film, this is a testament to David O' Russell's creative intellect" Mayssa Karaa's vocal performance in Arabic not only surprised audiences but her powerful and haunting vocals have been hailed by critics internationally as one of the movie's most dynamic songs. Her voice conveys the intensity of a pivotal scene featuring Robert De Niro, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jenifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Karaa's voice stays true to Slick's iconic performance, but finds its own unique color and powerful tone making the scene memorable. LA Times “This is who I am," says Mayssa, "not Middle Eastern all the way, not rock all the way. I am creating my own style."
Karaa born in 1989, near the close of a 15-year conflict in Lebanon, began singing at very early age in Beirut with her local school choir, and at the age of 7 singled out by the school's music director as one of the most talented out of hundreds. Recognizing her artistic talent, her parents encouraged her to pursue a musical education and enrolled her into the Conservatory of Beirut alongside her regular studies. Soon after, Mayssa was performing at a variety of events for non-profit charities including UNESCO. In 2006, as a new conflict embroiled Lebanon, Mayssa and her family felt it would safer for them to return to the United States and their home in Boston. Mayssa’s father convinced that music was his daughter’s true calling—insisted she takes an opportunity to audition at the Berklee College of Music. On her first audition, Mayssa was given immediate admission to the prestigious music institute. Karaa’s talents now had the opportunity to flourish and be nurtured. Berklee is alma mater to many of America’s top musical artists. Balancing her Arabic music roots with her classical background, Mayssa found powerful new allies to champion her artistic development, including with Renowned American music producer and manager Dawn Elder, who selected Karaa to for to sing on the track featured in American Hustle, After the success of her vocal performance in American Hustle, Lebanon's Cultural Minister Gaby Layoun honored Mayssa Karaa with the national cultural award "She has created a significant artistic bridge between our culture and audiences around the world. She has made an impact both in Hollywood and as a role model for young women here and abroad" said Layoun. In a world filled with sad days, this is one that brings us great joy and pride for Lebanon".
Also appearing as a guest is singer songwriter Marcus Nand, who has also led an extraordinary life. From his birth in England to his guitar apprenticeship among Spanish gypsies, his forays with rock bands from Madrid to Los Angeles, his work with electronic music, and in his current project as a singer/songwriter, he brings unique inspiration and experience to everything he does. Deep strains of culture from India to northern England and southern Spain run in his blood, as does a passion for the culture and history carried in the music he loves. Nand is an explosively talented guitarist, a soulful singer, and a reflective songwriter who draws his lyrics not from imagination, but personal experience, as he puts it: “I have lived every word.”
The evening will also honor Charles Khabouth, from Ink Entertainment for his innovative and creative approach to the Electronic music, Toronto Life style. Kharbouth is this year's Award recipient of the Canadian Arab Institute's Visionary and Life Style Entrepreneur. Additional events include a post Q & A with the Artists Mayssa Karaa, Marcus Nand and the Award winning American music producer Dawn Elder, followed by a Global DJ Dance Party -location TBA