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Karim Nagi celebrates Arab culture in Greenwich

For more than 20 years, Egyptian-born Karim Nagi has worked as a “cultural ambassador” for Arab culture throughout the United States, China, Europe and South America.

The Boston-based actor and musician has made it his life’s work to “create less stereotyping and fear for my part of the world.”

In Minneapolis recently for a show, Nagi said in a recent telephone chat that “through music, costume, dance and folkloric tales, I want to give an alternative view of the Arab world beyond the political.”

This he will do when he comes to Greenwich on Saturday, Oct. 15, to present a free show as part of Curiosity Concerts, which “is dedicated to bringing stellar, professional, live music” to the area in a series of free events.

Multi-instrumentalist Nagi is expected to present a “joyous, informative and participatory show” that will transport families to Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Morocco and Iraq — incorporating the Riqq tambourine, the acrobatic Assaya dance and the stomp of the Dabke.

The series is a project of the Greenwich Arts Council “designed to be as inspiring for parents as they are for their children.” Series producer Shelly Cryer said in a recent email that “the upcoming Karim Nagi concert is the one I am most excited about this season.” And that’s high praise, given Curiosity Concerts’ extraordinary 2016-17 season line up featuring some international superstars.
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YWCA Greenwich, 259 E. Putnam Ave. Saturday, Oct. 15. 2 p.m. Free; reservations required.

“The reason is because it has never been more important to tap into music’s profound ability to unite. Karim Nagi is an intense and masterful performer who will take the audience on an exploration of Arab music and dance.”

Cryer added: “Many of the sounds will be intriguing and unfamiliar. But I suspect the music’s beauty and joy will strike common chords in the audience, and bring us closer as a community ... and to other people and parts of the world. I hope so.”

All too often, “there is a fear and wariness of my part of the world,” Nagi said. “But I show the human side” that includes universal truths.

Crier pointed out that although the hourlong concerts are free, reservations are required. “We ask people to be very respectful of the value of the seat, and to only reserve if they are committed to attending.”