CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–September 27, 2016. As the civil war in Syria continues to exact a devastating toll on civilians, musicians are joining together to lend them solidarity this Sunday, in a benefit concert to support Syrian refugee relief.
The benefit performance by the DIO Trio — all of whose members hail originally from Syria and are now based in the metro Chicago area — is part of HotHouse’ #GlobalVoices concert series, launched earlier this month at Alhambra Palace. The Global Voices series is built around HotHouse’s mission to share the beauty of cultural expression from around the world — wedded with the performing arts group’s longstanding commitment to social justice.
The DIO Trio’s special guest, guitar virtuoso Fareed Haque
, is also curator of the Global Voices series. This is the first time the DIO Trio has performed publicly with Haque, in an exciting new collaboration featuring music from Arabic, Indian and European classical roots.
Sunday, October 2, 4pm: CONCERT FOR SYRIA
The DIO Trio with special guest Fareed Haque
Alhambra Palace Restaurant: 1240 W. Randolph Chicago
Valet parking. Wheelchair accessible. $25
The DIO Trio draws its name from an acronym of the initials of its three members: Dima Orsho on vocals, oud player Issam Rafea
, and percussionist Omar al-Musfi. All three are respected not just for their mastery of traditional musical forms, but for their artistry in Western forms that range from opera to orchestra, and as collaborations of some of the West’s top pop performing artists.
Soprano Dima Orsho graduated from the Boston Conservatory with a Masters degree in opera performance. She’s a celebrated performer, recording artist and collaborator with renowned musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma.
Oud player Issam Rafea has served as conductor of the Arab Orchestra at the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus. The veteran performer and recording artist is a true innovator of the Oud, able to coax entrancing new sounds, harmonic combinations and emotions out of this traditional instrument.
Percussionist Omar al-Musfi holds a Master’s degree in Performing Arts from NIU in DeKalb, and is currently director of NIU’s Middle Eastern Music Ensemble
. He has collaborated with a wide range of musical performers and pop stars, including Shakira and Sting.
As long-time cultural promoters who work in the realm of social justice, HotHouse seizes opportunities to amplify organizing efforts for civic good. As part of that commitment, HotHouse’s #GlobalVoices series aims to promote international cultural understanding, harmony and the joy of performance across borders.
Intrigued by the history and art of Alhambra, the eponymous palace and cultural mecca of southern Spain’s Moorish Granada, Chicago physician Nasar Rustom created the space to bring the culture, art, and splendor of Alhambra to the City of Chicago. Dr. Rustom commissioned artisans from Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Morocco to recreate the Moorish style of art for the hand-carved wood furniture, sculptures, rugs, stone mosaics, arabesques, and crystal chandeliers that adorn the space, augmented by a large collection of artifacts assembled over the course of many trips to the Middle East and North Africa. Since opening in 2007, Alhambra Palace has offered its visitors a unique experience of fine dining and entertainment, ranging from Middle Eastern singers to Latin salsa and tango.
HotHouse was founded in 1987 as a Chicago forum for global artistic expression — with a special focus on under-represented multi-arts and educational activities that showcase innovative artists working in the margins of the commercial market. Outreach to underserved populations across metro Chicago is a key priority, along with producing events that amplify a variety of progressive social movements. The New York Times wrote of HotHouse, “Few clubs anywhere offer a wider range of first-rate world music, from wildly vibrant Afro-pop to avant-garde jazz than HotHouse.” And a “Best of Chicago” award opined, “From European avant-garde jazz acts that don’t even play in this hemisphere to performance art to world music to the city’s more esoteric acts, [HotHouse] has consistently pulled in some of the planet’s most innovative acts.” The project broke ground in the city in a range of endeavors, from showcasing Cuban artists at the height of the blockade to serving as a forum for groundbreaking Avant garde jazz artists.
HotHouse has maintained two award-winning cultural centers, with the first catalyzing Wicker Park’s cultural offerings (1987-1995) and the second spurring creative development in Chicago’s South Loop (1995-2007). The board of directors is currently pursuing plans to build its third site.