@ the Rich Mix
22 November 2015
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Reem Kelani, the Palestinian singer, musicologist and broadcaster
was born in England, brought up in Kuwait and now lives in London.
Working in the Diaspora, Kelani has introduced countless non-Arab
musicians to Arabic and Palestinian music.
Kelani’s reputation as an artist for whom her independence
is an article of faith, musically, spiritually and politically,
extends across the Arab and the non Arab worlds.
She has led major tours with her band to the UAE (2000), Greece
(2000 & 2006), Belgium (2006 & 2008), Syria (2007 &
2009), Turkey (2005 & 2008), Ireland (2010), China (2010 &
2011), and Seattle (2008 & 2013).
Kelani has also performed solo and with local musicians in major
concerts in Kuwait (1988 & 1989), Los Angeles (1992 & 1993),
Palestine (1993 & 2000), Lebanon (1998), and Canada (1993, 1994,
1999 & 2013).
Kelani qualified as a biologist in 1986 at Kuwait University.
Upon her graduation and before switching to a full-time career in
music, she worked for two years as an assistant marine researcher
for Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR) and two years
in research management for the Vice Rector of Research at Kuwait
University, Dr Kazem Behbehani.
Reem Kelani is also a literary translator: she assisted her father
Dr. Yousef Kelani in the English-Arabic translation of Manfred Ullman’s
seminal book ‘Islamic Medicine’ in 1980 and she currently
works with the likes of literary editor and historian Dr. Salma
Khadra Jayyusi. The sleeve notes of Reem’s Sprinting Gazelle
CD are another example of her translation work.