|Emel Mathlouthi at Bing Concert Hall (Stanford) on Oct 5, 2016|
Tunisian singer Emel Mathlouthi aka the Voice of the Tunisian Revolution, thrilled audiences at Stanford University when she came to the campus on Oct 5-6, 2016 where she conducted a lunch talk at the Markaz (moderated by Stanford Lecturer Dr. Ramzi Salti), an unforgettable concert at Bing Concert Hall, and a student matinee, also at the Bing, the following day. These events were made possible by Stanford Live, the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies and the Institute for Diversity in the Arts as part of a series called Islamic Voices.
A strident songstress whose intensity is cloaked in mellifluous vocals, Emel Mathlouthi is also known for her role as a leading artist in the Arab Spring. Born in Tunis, she was shunned from her country's official airwaves but rose to prominence through social media. She released her first album, Kelmti Horra (my word is free) in 2012, garnering lavish praise from critics and fans for her powerful vocals laid over a unique mix of north african rythyms and modern electronic beats. Her 2015 was prolific, including work on a new album with producer Valgeir Siggurdson and culminating with her solo performance at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony. Called one of the top fifteen acts of 2015 by popmatters, Emel Mathlouthi is a unique artist with a powerful message and a voice beyond comparison (source emelmathlouthi.com).
During her lunch talk at Stanford's Markaz Resource Center on Oct 5, Emel Mathlouthi conversed with Dr. Ramzi Salti about her music, career and thoughts on the Tunisian Revolution. Below is a video containing highlights from that talk (link at https://youtu.be/vreomAqUIWc)
Emel Mathlouthi's major concert at Bing Concert Hall later that evening proved to be a huge success with the singer performing hits from her first CD Kelmti Horra and her upcoming CD Ensan (to be released in January 2017). The concert was preceded by a PRE-CONCERT TALK at 6:30 pm by Dr. Ramzi Salti, host of the Arabology radio show/podcast, and Professor Joel Beinin--both of whom set the stage in a discussion of the Tunisian Revolution, how it launched the Arab Spring, and how Mathlouthi's music became its soundtrack.
Here is a video of Dr. Ramzi Salti's portion of the intro at the Bing (7 minutes):
(link at https://youtu.be/5RI-sAhCKuE).
After the concert, Emel Mathlouthi met with scores of her fans backstage, signing autographs and taking pictures with fans who came from all over the San Francisco bay area to attend her show.
|Emel Mathlouthi with Dr. Ramzi Salti (right) and her siblings Walid and Narjess|
|Ramzi Salti with Emel Mathlouthi|