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Refugee Week: June 25th at Jubilee Library, Brighton

Including some exciting musicians from Ukraine performing their first time in Brighton. Collaborative event with Jubilee Library and Hopeful Solidarities, i

Music and food from around the World.

Jamal and Alaa play traditional Syrian and Arabic Folk songs and have performed together since they met as part of the

Sussex Syrian Community Group in January 2017.

Before coming to the UK, Jamal spent over 40 years of his life as a professional musician in Syria, where as well as composing music for TV, he ran a recording studio, played with several bands and lectured in universities as an expert on Arabic music. He has toured with Damon Albarn, Gorillaz and played with the London Syrian Ensemble.

Alaa is from a famous Syrian musical family and has played the Oud and sang for 25 years. Although not a professional musician in Syrian, he is a well-respected player and has become involved in many projects in the UK. He is also a translator and helps support Syrian refugees settle in here.

Bashir Al Gamar was born in Sudan, he came to England in 1993, after being imprisoned for his poem 'Patience on a beach' Since then he has lived in Brighton.

He is a poet, songwriter and composer, since 1991 he has written and composed more than 40 poems and songs, mainly in Arabic. Most of them are well known in his home country, Sudan. Some of his songs have been recorded by Sudanese National TV and radio. At present he is working on a new collection of poetry called 'Rhythm and Resonance' He is also planning to perform his poetry in several countries with a Sudanese singer. Bashir has taken part in several art exhibitions and poetry readings in the UK, in Cardiff, London, Liverpool and Bristol. He is a well known proponent of the Oud. His poetry and music mainly deal with his homeland, exile, human suffering and love. He writes in either classical Arabic, or in Sudanese local dialect. The words contain many emotions, images and metaphors and are written in a musical rhythmic language

Yiddish, the 1000-year-old language of the Jews of Eastern Europe, is flourishing, as people young and old, Jewish and non-Jewish, explore its rich cultural heritage. Yiddish songs are hugely varied. Some are spiritual and liturgical, rooted in cantorial and hassidic music, particularly the nign – a spiritual melody that hassidim believe changes consciousness. Others come from the Yiddish theatre and cinema, or describe the diverse lives of Jewish people across Eastern and Central Europe and all the countries they have emigrated to – their history, hopes, memories, politics, celebrations and resistance to oppression. The Brighton & Hove Yiddish Choir Chutzpah explores all these traditions and builds on them, adding four-part arrangements of folk songs, contemporary compositions and some improvisation, while respecting and learning about the history, style and cultural contexts in which the music originated and developed.

Dina, Polina and Friends & Yulya Fytsalo

Dina arrived from Ukraine very recently, and has performed with flute player Polina Loubnina on the Riwaq Stage at Brighton Festival. Dina is part of the local Ukrainian community group.

Yulya is also originally from Ukraine and sings music from the region, this will be her first performance in Brighton.

We hope them performing at this event will be a further opportunity to welcome Ukrainian people to the city, in what are clearly very difficult circumstances.


12.00: Open & Welcome

12.15 - 12.45: Jamal & Alaa (Syrian songs)

12.45: Food Break (Food will be served from 12.00 - 2.45)

1.15 - 1.45: Bashir Al Gamar (Sudanese songs)

2.00 - 2.20: Yulya Fytsalo (Ukranian songs)

2.30- 3.00: Dina, Polina & Friends (Ukranian songs)

3.20 - 3.50: Polina shepherd & The Brighton & Hove Yiddish choir.


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