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17/11/2017 - 20:00hs
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Refugee orchestra to perform at SESC

Orquestra Mundana Refugi features musicians from Syria and Palestine. They’ll play concerts Sunday (19) at SESC Osasco – the day their first album will be released online – and on December 7 at SESC Pompeia.



São Paulo – Refugee orchestra Orquestra Mundana Refugi will perform at SESC Osasco on Sunday (19), which will also see the release of their first album via the online platform of SESC, the Social Service of Commerce (SESC). The orchestra is also slated to play a concert at SESC Pompeia on December 7.

An amalgamation of musicians and rhythms from several countries, Orquestra Mundana has been in existence for 15 years now. In April this year, musician and historian Carlinhos Antunes and social worker Cléo Miranda came up with the Orquestra Mundana Refugi project, with backing from SESC, to raise awareness of the refugee cause and to showcase music as a means of inclusion and respect of diversity.

The group comprises 20 musicians, eight of them Brazilian and 12 from countries including Syria, Palestine, Iran, Cuba, Congo and Haiti. Carlinhos Antunes is the orchestra’s director. During live performances, the 56-year old artist plays more than 10 string instruments like viola, acoustic guitar, kora and charango.

“This project is a response to the savagery and obscurantism we’re experiencing in Brazil and around the world,” said Antunes. In addition to concerts, Projeto Refugi holds music workshops and debates as well as scouting new talents.

Antunes said the repertoire is the outcome of an integration and resistance process, featuring his own compositions as well as traditional ones from the countries involved. “Much of the music was written specifically for this,” he revealed.

The Arab world

One orchestra player is 35-year-old, Syrian-born singer of Palestinian descent Oula Al-Saghir, who moved to Brazil with her family in 2015. She sings solo in Arabic and Spanish, in addition to singing background vocals in Portuguese-language songs.

Speaking to ANBA in Portuguese, she said being able to be in such a diverse group is a great opportunity, and that the project is very important for refugees in Brazil. “It’s a give-and-take: I get to learn about Brazilian music and the other musicians learn about Eastern culture. It’s also a chance to make my work known to more people,” said Saghir.

Another Arab player is Palestine’s 23-year-old Yousef Saif, who made the move to Brazil last March. He plays the bouzouki, a lute-like Arab instrument. Tunisia’s Raouf Jemni played on the album, but now he’s back in his home country.

Claudio Kairouz, a Brazilian of Lebanese and Tunisian background, also plays in the orchestra. He studied music in Lebanon and plays the qanun, an Arab 10th century string instrument. um instrumento de cordas árabe do século X.

Quick facts
November 19, Sunday, 5 pm
SESC Osasco - Avenida Sport Club Corintians Paulista, 1300 - Jardim das Flores, Osasco

December 7, Thursday, 9:30 pm
Sesc Pompeia - Rua Clélia, 93 - Pompeia, São Paulo

Find out more: https://www.sescsp.org.br/

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

Watch the orchestra rehearse:

Watch the orchestra rehearse:

 

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