Thursday 6 November 2008

Hisham Matar on Dhafer Youssef

Booker Prize-shortlisted author Hisham Matar ('In the Country of Men') has written a very thoughtful piece in the New Statesman about Dhaffer Youssef, with whom we are performing in the London Jazz Festival on 14 November. He concludes: 'Unlike, for example, the Arabic novel, which apart from very few exceptions is struggling to gain the attention its literary heritage promises, Arabic music like Youssef's seems to have found ways to remain vital and ambitious, relevant, and engaged.' I also like his attempt to unravel the confusion caused by the description 'world music': 'The problem seems to be with the word 'world'; as an adjective it has come to mean a sort of anthropological, homogenised muddle, and so does little to reflect the careful, earnest engagements of artists such as Dhaffer Youssef.' Read the full article!

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