February 19th, 2002


Going to see Khaled on Friday...

Found out through Pollstar today about Khaled's U.S. tour. He's playing in Berkeley this upcoming Friday. eek. Not a lot of warning time, but I got tickets fortunately!

It's the "Desert Roses & Arabian Rhythms" tour with Khaled and Hakim, playing up in Berkeley at the Berkeley Community Theatre. It was really hard to find out the details on the concert, actually... the promotions for such events are very targeted towards the Bay Area's Arabic minority. The independent promoter has a site with all the information, however... scroll down to find it.

...and still, the show will sell out, I suspect. Not only are they that popular, they're that good, too. Khaled, though well-known throughout much of the rest of the world, is hardly known at all within the United States. Here's a short clip of Khaled (RealPlayer) to give you a taste. Also looking forward to finding out more about Hakim - I hear he's recording a new album with a bit of help from Transglobal Underground. Should be interesting.

Unfortunately, Khaled, Hakim, and many other modern Arabic musicians are increasingly at risk in their home countries due to religious extremists who want to kill them. This is especially common in Algeria, Khaled's home country, where extremely popular musicians like Cheb Hasni and Cheb Aziz have been murdered. The problem has become so widespread in Algeria that Khaled has relocated to France. The good news for most of the rest of the world, however, is that more great Arabic performers will seek even greater recognition outside of their homelands. If that means they'll tour over here more often, that's more than alright with me.