EL ASDIQAA (Arabic for "The Friends"), an ensemble of NY based superstar musicians will transport you to Cairo!
Maurice Chedid - Oud + Vocals
Nabawy - Accordion
Zafer Tawil - Tabla
Said Fahmy - Riq
Secret Room New York, 707 8th Ave, downstairs, New York, NY 10036 between 44th and 45th St
6:30-7:30pm Dance to live music class (separate cost)
7:30-8:00pm Doors Open
$15 Early Bird / $20 Tier 1 / $25 at the Door / $15 after 9:30pm.
Plus 1 drink or food item if seated at the bar
or 2 drink or food items if seated at a table
Tickets are general admission.
TABLE RESERVATIONS: Text Lindy at (929)497-6304 with your name and number of people you want seated at your table.
Check out other upcoming Djam NYC events!
DETAILED BIOGRAPHIES (Listed Alphabetically)
GABRIELA FIGUEROA’s journey with belly dance began 9 years ago as a self-taught dancer. She began her formal instruction with Natalie el Ghoul; a contemporary dancer and choreographer at La Fábrica in Guayaquil, Ecuador. At La Fabrica Gabriela discovered her passion for Middle Eastern dance and continued her studies in Quito, Ecuador at Frente de Danza Independiente with Carolina Cruz, a professional dancer and certified somatic teacher where she learned how to view movements from the inside.
Gabriela teaches belly dance regularly in the New Jersey area focusing her class on creating community and integrating body and mind through dance.
In 2015 Gabriela became a member of Natalia Nazario's Raks Al Zahra troupe. In 2018, Gabriela took the Bellyqueen Teacher Training Course led by Kaeshi Chai. She continues to grow and improve each day by regularly studying with many renowned teachers.
KAESHI CHAI is a NYC based artist who integrates dance, theatre and teaching to empower and shift consciousness through performance projects such as “Ocean Stories” and PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment). She produces the annual PURE Conference focused on topics like Love, Peaceful Warrior and the 5 elements.
She is the artistic director of Bellyqueen, the school and dance company, and facilitates creative labs in which participants generate full-length theatrical dance shows in 3-4 days. She has toured extensively with the Bellydance Superstars, Bellydance Evolution and Bella Gaia. She founded the Djam NYC event in August 2007. www.kaeshi.com | www.bellyqueen.com | www.pureglobe.org
LAYLA ISIS is a renowned performer, choreographer, and instructor of Oriental Dance (Belly Dance). Established as one of the most highly sought after professional belly dancers in the NYC area, she has performed countless shows in the region and around the world across a wide array of platforms. Known for being an exceptionally skilled and polished dance artist as well as an engaging and charismatic entertainer, her performances have garnered the respect and admiration of both her contemporaries and clients, described as “sophisticated and elegant – raising the level of the art form” and “refreshingly natural, fluid and dynamic.”
Layla is a uniquely expressive and diverse performer, drawing on her formal acting education, her musicianship, as well as her years of study in Oriental dance. As an entertainer, theatrical dance artist, or instructor, Layla’s impassioned vision of belly dance as a soul stirring, elevated, and utterly joyful celebration of life and beauty is what shines though.
Film and television highlights include Sex and the City 2, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Dr. Oz, and Martin Scorsese’s new HBO series. http://www.laylaisis.com/
MAURICE CHEDID: A native of Beirut, Lebanon, Mr Chedid studied at the Lebanese Conservatory of Middle Eastern Music, where he received a Diploma in the traditional Mouashahat, Oud Playing and Folk Singing. As a member of the Lebanese Folkloric Group, he toured internationally for four years as lead singer and oud player with the ensemble, and was a popular entertainer in nightclubs throughout Lebanon. Emigrating to the United States in the 1988, he soon became a popular singer/musician at weddings, festivals, and cultural events all over the US. He has been a headliner in Arabic nightclubs, and has performed in many prestigious venues, including the United Nations, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. As a member of Atzilut, a ten-piece band which features Arabic and Jewish music, he travels to Europe every year to play in distinguished theaters such as the Royal Opera Theater in Denmark, and in many famous music and cultural festivals throughout Europe in the Concerts for Peace program. A prolific composer, he has composed and recorded many songs and dance compositions as well as the original musical score for the story-theater production of Banat el Emir or The Dancing Princesses. Mr. Chedid’s theatrical credits as musician also include Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves for Lincoln Center. He is also the musical director and featured musician for Mosaic Dance Theater Company.
NABAWY grew up immersed in the Egyptian popular and classical music emanating from Mohamed Ali street, the Cairo neighborhood celebrated for its professional musicians, dancers and music stores. Nabawy has performed with superstar Egyptian dancers including Nagwa Fouad, Soheir Zaki, Lucy and Fifi Abdou. After immigrating to the U.S. in 1990, he became a well-known figure in the New York City Arab music scene, performing regularly at venues such as "Cleopatra" and "Cedars of Lebanon".
SAID FAHMY: Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Said has been playing percussion for more than thirty-five years. He has played with dancer Aida Nour and with singers such as Mohamed El Helwa, Ali Haggar, and Iman Darwish, the grandson of the great composer Said Darwish. He has toured with Kazem El Saher, and plays in clubs and on stages from Cairo to New York City. In addition to Tabla, Said is an expert at the Riq, Tabl Baladi, Dof and Sagat. You can find him playing at New York hot spots for Arabic music such as Layaly, the Nile restaurant in NJ and now at the Engine Room in midtown.
TARIK SULTAN is one of the World’s best known pioneers of male Oriental Dance,(Belly Dancing). He began his formal training in the dance 1985. In addition to classes, he spent countless hours in the Dance Research Library at Lincolin Center trying to learn as much as he could about the dance, its history and the culture from which originated. In 1988 he traveled to Egypt for the first time and observed the dance in its native homeland, allowing him to distinguish the truth about it as versus many of the popular myths that were created about it in the media.
Inspired by his travels, Tarik began teaching his first class in the early '90's, trying hard to convey all that he had learned and observed. Over the years his talent and dedication to the art had earned him a reputation as a dynamic performer, and gifted, inspiring teacher and choreographer. He has taught many successful seminars across the nation as well as internationally in The UK, Japan, Australia, Trinidad and Argentina. Some of Tarik’s international performance credits include the Jerusalem Festival, the Dar America Assoc in Marakech Morocco and Alexandria Egypt. In 2003 he became one of the first male dancers to perform at the Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival in Cairo, Egypt. Other credits include the United Nations, Lincolin Center and The Museum of Natural History. https://tariksultan.net/
ZAFER TAWIL: Jerusalem-born Zafer Tawil is an accomplished Palestinian musician whose areas of expertise include the oud, violin, qanun, and Arab percussion. Zafer performs across the US and in the Middle East and holds workshops in oud technique and Arabic music theory. He was part of the Spirit of Fez U.S. Tour 2006 and has performed with some of the most celebrated world music artists, including violinist and oud master Simon Shaheen and Rai singer Cheb Mami. Zafer is continuously exploring the boundaries of Arab music, and has worked collaboratively on many concerts involving classical Indian and Persian music, as well as Jazz fusion. You can catch Zafer playing one of his many instruments at extravagant private celebrations near his Brooklyn neighborhood, and at cultural centers such as Alwan for the Arts in Manhattan.