Madfai Blends West and East In South Theater
By Serene Serhan
Most danced, some just clapped, and others watched with admiration. However, everyone had fun at the 3 hour Ilham El-Madfai concert in the South Theater of Jerash on Monday.
Keeping true to his style, the musician combined both western and eastern instruments, which brought about the novel rhythms he is so well known for.
His concert was riddled with Spanish guitar, playful castanets and iron heated ‘durbakka’drums!
Folkloric music dominated the performance with songs like ‘foug el Nakhel,’ ‘Al Bint Al Shalabieh’ and his famous ‘Khuttar.’
One song that earned the singer repeated waves of applause was ‘Hilwa Ya Al Baghdadiah,’ (Beautiful Baghdadi woman) where the singer replaced ‘Baghdadia’ with both ‘Lubnaniah,’ (Lebanese) and ‘Filistiniya,’ (Palestinian).
Three ‘Chobi’ dabkeh songs including ‘Walla Ou La Walla, resulted in 32 dabkeh chains throughout the theater.
Meanwhile an elated Jordanian Prince Raed, who is of Iraqi origins and was heir to the throne of Iraq called the concert “fantastic.”
His admiration was obvious through a series of nods, sways and sing alongs.
Overall, the concert was a great success, attracting approximately 2500 visitors.
One notable factor is that despite the large number of people, not one fight occurred.
Fights at the South Theater during concerts have been common throughout the festival’s history.
Meanwhile, Ilham’s success was not easily achieved.
The singer has spent most of his life as a striving artist singing in nightclubs, bars and restaurants.
However, unlike his success, Ilham’s talent started at an early age; he was twelve when he began playing the guitar.
At first llham’s style of music was not accepted; he was criticized by the Iraqi public for ruining long maintained musical traditions.
As a student in London, although Ilham played with the likes of Paul McCartney, and Donoven, the singer still did not reach his peak.
It was only recently that Ilham was widely accepted by the Arabic public -- Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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