Sings Om Kalthoum

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Ghalia Benali a singer of Tunisian origin, decided to dedicate ner now program to the great Om Khaltoum. « Om Khaltoum was my first music school « says Ghalia. Only 4 years old, she listened endlessly to Al Atlal on an old LP, fascinated by the hypnotic turning of the disc. Many years later this song still played in her head, but she didn't dare to bring it on stage. It is clear that it is not simple to sing Om Khaltoum.
The late great Egyptian singer with the extraordinary voice produced up till 14000 vibrations per second. Even 35 years after her death, she is still the object of an incomparable cult. She inspires, impresses and moves whole generations until the present day.
Looking for new sources and before embarking on a new musical search through other cultures, Ghalia pays tribute to this great lady. In this new project Ghalia is accompanied by the virtuoso ud player Moufadhel Adhoum, Vincent Noiret on double bass and Azzedine Jazouli on Arabic percussion. Ghalia definitely does not mean to compete with the powerful voice of the diva, but rather tries to give new life to the overwhelming emotion of these deep and authentic songs. She tries to reach this goal by using a very intimate musical setting, rather than the big orchestras that used to accompany Om Khalthoum.

Ghalia grew up in an artistic family in the south of Tunisia. From her childhood on she was impregnated with different kinds of music and poetry: French chansons, Egyptian and Indian musicals, melodies from Syria and Iraq, the 'tartil' and the poetry from Om Kalthoum.
She sings with an incredible expression and a strong sensuality with a voice that gets under your skin. She is also a dancer, actress and artist in plastic arts.
Ghalia is born in Brussels in 1968. At the age of 3 she moved, together with her family, again to Tunisia, where she grew up. After finishing her education in Tunis, she returned to Brussel, Belgiums in 1988 to study 'graphics' in Saint Lucas.
She decided to remain in Belgium and started singing. By singing she also met other rich cultures. While touring in Portugal and Spain she discovered e.g. flamenco.
Ghalia played with Yoda (didgeridoo, djembé, clarinet,...), Al Palna (Arabo-Indian), Timnaa (Arabo-Spanish), Maak's Spirit (Arabo-jazz) and Hh Kaly (DJ and Arabo-Indian songs). In 2000 she recorded her first album 'Wild Harissa' with the group Timnaa for the label 'Network'. In 2001 she created the project Kafichanta, a project dealing with the Arab cabaret from the twenties until today.
She is touring with the program 'Romeo & Leila'. In 2006 she released an album and a book with the same name. 'Romeo & Leila' was very well received in Europe as well as in the Arab world. In the winter of 2007 she recorded by request of the Belgian National Radio 'Klara' the cd 'Al Palna' (Zimbraz MWCD 3033) with the Flemish sitar player Bert Cornelis. In this project Arab music is meeting Indian classical music. In 2008 Ghalia received the 'World of Music Award'. This award for the best world music song she received from the British independent organisation 'We Are Listening'. In 2009 she started her project 'Ghalia Benali meets Om Khaltoum'.


Music & Words (NL)
Ghalia Benali
Sings Om Kalthoum
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