Tickets £10 - £15, can be booked via the eventbrite website.

This one-off performance offers a rare opportunity to hear songs from two of the most rich and exciting periods of Egyptian music. The first half features Oxford Maqam as a 'takht' or chamber ensemble, performing music from the 19th century up to the dawn of the recording age. This was a time of national ‘awakening’ of Arab culture, known as the Nahda. This period produced a period of extraordinary creativity and musical innovation. New song forms, rooted in poetic and literary traditions, expressed the ideas of a new age. Songs of love, often with a bawdy sense of humour, were performed alongside songs of spirituality and mysticism.

In the second half of the concert, Oxford Maqam reveal how the arrival of radio and film swept these traditions away, and produced a new golden age of Egyptian music. The stars of Egypt's early cinema, such as Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Layla Murad, were feted internationally. Meanwhile, Egypt's burgeoning film and music industries absorbed influences from around the world. And in the 1930s, Cairo became the birthplace of an unlikely new style... Arabic tango. Following extensive research into songs, some of which forgotten for generations, Oxford Maqam will bring this unique sound back to life, adding accordion, cello and viola to the band's line-up.