Habibi Festival 2021

Celebrating ancient and contemporary music from the SWANA region


November 2, 2021
- November 5, 2021


425 Lafayette Street (at Astor Place) New York, NY 10003

Event Details

Explore the sounds of Tunisia, Algeria, Syria, and more during Habibi Festival, a four-night festival immersing New Yorkers in the music of the living rooms, radios, and dance clubs of the Middle East. This year’s inaugural festival features award-winning French Tunisian saxophonist, composer, and festival co-founder Yacine Boulares and nightly special guests.

Created with the goal of giving a snapshot of contemporary and traditional musics of the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region, Habibi Festival aims to take listeners on a journey of the sounds wafting through the airwaves and living rooms of cities spanning Marrakech to Baghdad to Brooklyn. This new performing arts festival is a collaboration between the Director of Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater Alex Knowlton, artist/composer/curator Yacine Boulares, and curator/producer Meera Dugal who are bonded by the goal of creating more joyful spaces for performance, conversation, and storytelling from this part of the world.

Begin the evening with a solo performance by Lebanese-Armenian violinist, founding member of the influential band Mashrou’ Leila, architect, and multi-disciplinary artist Haig Papazian followed by the Yacine Boulares’ band and special guests including contemporary Syrian clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh, Sudanese-American singer Alsarah & the Nubatones, mesmerizing Moroccan group Innov Gnawa and Moroccan and Algerian traditional dancer Esraa Warda.


Photography by Sachyn Mital.

Habibi Festival - Alsarah & The Nubatones. Photography by Sachyn Mital.

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