Al-Mutamid Music Festival passes through 7 cities in the Algarve until the end of February

Concerts in Lagoa, Vila Real de Santo António, Loulé, Albufeira, Silves, Lagos and Olhão

By the end of February, seven Algarve cities will once again receive «the music that has echoed for centuries in the castles, palaces, medinas and bazaars of Al-Andalus», in the year that celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Al Music Festival -Mutamid.

Lagoa, Vila Real de Santo António, Loulé, Albufeira, Silves, Lagos and Olhão are the cities that will stage the performances of this festival, which was created two decades ago to «provide more deeply rooted music and dances from the Middle East, Maghreb and Eastern Mediterranean».

The festival begins on January 24, at the Convento de São José, in Lagoa, with the oriental music group Orontes Trio, who, on the following day, Sunday, performs at the Centro Cultural António Aleixo, in Vila Real de Santo António.

This is followed by the Wayam Ensemble, formed by four musicians from Morocco and Syria and three dancers, on 8 February at the Cine-Teatro Louletano, in Loulé, as well as the Muhsilwan, a trio of Muslim musicians with an Afro-Arab background, accompanied by a dancer, who performs at the Municipal Auditorium of Olhão, on February 14th, and at the Lagos Cultural Center, on the following day (15th).

Last weekend, 21st and 22nd February, the oriental music and dance project Sharq Wa Gharb (Morocco/Spain/Syria), on stage Teatro Mascarenhas Gregório, in Silves, on Saturday, and the Municipal Auditorium of Albufeira , on Sunday, closing this 20th edition of the event.

This festival is also a tribute to the poet king al-Mutamid, son and successor of the King of Seville Al-Mutadid. Muhammad Ibn Abbad (al-Mutamid) was born in Beja (1040) and was appointed governor of Silves at the age of 12, having spent a refined youth there.

In 1069 he acceded to the throne of Seville, the strongest kingdom among those that emerged in al-Andalus after the fall of the Caliphate of Cordoba. In 1088, he was dethroned by the Almoravids and secluded in Agmat, south of Marrakech, where he died in 1095. His tomb, preserved until today, has become a symbol of the most beautiful times in Al-Andalus.

An excellent poet, al-Mutamid was considered by Ibn Jaqan as “the most liberal, magnanimous and powerful of all the taifas of al-Andalus. His palace was the pilgrims' inn, the meeting point for all the ingenious, the center from which all hopes were directed».

The Festival's organization considers that «the longevity of this event, pioneering and with unique characteristics in the Iberian Peninsula, is closely related to the support of a loyal and avid audience of this type of music, which has accompanied this festival year after year».



(Music from the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean). ORONTES is the name of a river that runs through the territories of Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. This river was the inspiration for a musical project, in a trio format, which travels through the sounds of the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean.

Michel Gasco: Sarod and Arabic Lute
Alberto Centella: flutes
Pancho Brañas: oriental percussions

January 24 – 21:30 pm – Convento de São José | LAGOON

Tickets: 282 380 434 // 282 380 452

25 January; 21 pm – António Aleixo Cultural Center I VILA REAL DE SANTO ANTÓNIO

Tickets: 281 510 045

(Songs and dances from the Middle East). WAYAM ENSEMBLE presents a program of music and dances from the Maghreb and the Middle East. Formed by four musicians from Morocco and Syria, they are accompanied by an oriental dancer who reflects through their dances the testimony of the heritage of Al-Andaluz, and also by 2 Syrian dancers, who masterfully interpret spiritual and folk dances from Turkish, Egyptian and Syrian style.

Nur Eddin: Sufi Spin + Tanora Dance
Mohamed Babli: Sufi spin + tanora dance
Christina Prieto: oriental dance
Rabie Yacoubi: violin
Youssef Mezgheldi: kanun
Otman Yacoubi: Arabic voice and lute
Salah Eddin: darbouka, bendir and riq

8 February – 21:30 pm – Cine-Teatro Louletano | LOULÉ

Tickets: 289 414 604

(Afro-Arabic music and dance). MUHSILWAN is a trio of Muslim musicians with an Afro-Arab roots and with natural components from the African continent: Muhammad el Bouzidi (Morocco), Wafir Sheikheldin (Sudan) and Aboubakar Syla (Guinea Conakry). MUHSILWAN presents a show based on traditional themes from the 3 countries where they come from, interpreted with instruments of great visual and sound beauty. This group is accompanied by an Afro-Arab oriental and tribal dancer.

Muhammad el Bouzidi: voice and guembri
Wafir Sheikheldin: voice, arabic oud and nay
Aboubakar Syla: voice, ngoni, kora and gourd
Sonia Sampayo: Afro-Arab oriental and tribal dance

14 February – 21:30 pm – Olhão Municipal Auditorium | EYE

Tickets: 289 700 160

February 15 – 21:30 pm – Lagos Cultural Center | LAKES

Tickets: 282 770 450

(Music and dance from the Maghreb and Middle East). SHARQ WA GARB is a Middle Eastern and Maghreb music and dance group. It is formed by musicians from Syria, Morocco, France and Spain. The group's repertoire is based on music from countries as diverse as: Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Syria… and on the oriental dance that transports us to the far east with its sensual rhythms from the courts of caliphs and sultans.

Yousef El Hossini Harrak: Arabic voice and lute
Vincent Molino: nay and mizmar
Salah Eddin: Arabic percussions
sharay: oriental dance

February 21 – 21:30 pm – Teatro Mascarenhas Gregório | SILVES

Tickets: 282 440 800

February 22 – 21:30 pm – Albufeira Municipal Auditorium | ALBUFEIRA

Tickets: 289 599 645