BUY SPRINTING GAZELLE:Please show your support for Reem by buying a copy of her acclaimed album. Or if you prefer a digital version, buy a download here.
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- Songlines Top of the World, Alexei Sayle's playlist – February 2009
- New Internationalist ‘Best of 2006’ (Louise Gray) – January 2007
- Financial Times Pick of the Year (David Honigmann) – December 2006
- Best of Elsewhere 2006 (Graham Reid), New Zealand – December 2006
- Time Out Editor’s Pick (John Lewis) – December 2006
- BBC London World Music DJ Ritu’s Best CDs of 2006 – December 2006
- Properganda Magazine, Best of 2006 (Hidden Gems) – Dec/Jan 2006/7
- Nominated Best Distributor Music Week Awards – December 2006
- World Music Central Editor’s Picks (Angel Romero), USA – 24 November 2006
- Number One Bestseller, Folk Devils’ Whitby Musicport – October 2006
- Songlines Top of the World, Robert Wyatt's playlist – July/Aug 2006
- British Council CD of the Month – June 2006
- Fiona Talkington's Choice, Late Junction, BBC Radio 3 World/Roots Selection, fRoots Magazine – April 2006
- Martha Kearney’s choice, Weekend Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 4 – 18 February 2006
- Time Out Number One Critics’ Choice Recent Albums – 14 February 2006
The Palestinian singer, musician and broadcaster Reem Kelani released her debut CD in February 2006 Born in Manchester in the UK and brought up in Kuwait, Reem’s father comes from Ya’bad near Jenin and her mother from Nazareth in Galilee. Reem enjoyed early exposure to all sorts of music. She learnt the piano and listened to the Jazz standards her father used to sing at home. She studied the Qur’an as a child and used to hear the calls to prayer about her in Kuwait. Life in the Diaspora also meant that she was exposed to the music of the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, East Africa, the Levant and Egypt. It was whilst at a family wedding in the Galilee that Reem, as a child, was first taken by Palestinian music.
Reem has been recording and collating folk songs from women in her maternal home of Nazareth, in the refugee camps of Palestine and Lebanon and elsewhere in the Diaspora. Now considered as one of the foremost researchers and performers of Palestinian music, Reem Kelani brings you ‘Sprinting Gazelle – Palestinian Songs from the Motherland and the Diaspora.’ Some of the songs on the CD are Reem’s research and arrangement of traditional (and some very old) Palestinian songs; the others are her own musical settings of popular and resistance poetry by the likes of Mahmoud Darwish, Salma Khadra Jayyusi, Rashid Husain and Mahmoud Salim al-Hout.
Reem’s band includes a Jazz rhythm section comprising Zoe Rahman on piano, Idris Rahman on tenor saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet, Oli Hayhurst on double bass and Patrick Illingworth on drums. Egyptian violinist Samy Bishai and Iranian percussionist Fariborz Kiani complete the line-up.
Other artists on this CD include: Armenian duduk player Tigran Aleksanyan (playing the ancient and haunting Palestinian double-clarinet the yarghul); film-composer Dirk Campbell (who lends his string arrangements and nay playing); Salah Dawson Miller (on Arabic percussion); Paul Clarvis (on drums and frame drums), and Sonia Slany with her Solid Strings Quartet.
Reem Kelani sees her project as a means of demonstrating the fact of the Palestinians’ existence, now and in the past. She views her musical journey as both historical and political, personal and collective. She seeks to point out suffering and to highlight celebration. Her journey is a musical one through the written and oral history of a people who are proud of their collective sense of poetry, stories, music and existence. This is manifested in the detailed accompanying booklet which includes introductory notes for each song, lyrics in Arabic and English, and a comprehensive glossary of musical and cultural terms.
Leon Rosselson of Fuse Records offered his advice and his record label. This gave Reem the opportunity to produce the CD herself, thus maintaining her musical and cultural integrity and her independence. Raising the necessary funds for the project was by no means easy, but with the help of friends, family and supporters, the CD was finally made. It took two years in the process and is the culmination of more than 20 years of effort and hope.
Enjoy your journey with the Sprinting Gazelle!
“Reem Kelani is Palestinian but her vocal style seems to effortlessly transcend any boundaries. ”Time Out, London
“An extraordinary musical map of Palestine emerges from her work, more vibrant than any historical document.” The Guardian
“Reem Kelani's voice will make the hairs on your neck stand up." Jazz UK
“Her voice is holy, strong and seductive, like a call to prayer." Evening Standard
“Rarely has the entire tragedy of a people been condensed into artful melodrama by such a powerful and stirring voice.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany
“Reem Kelani is a national treasure of talent, art and a deep sense of belonging." Al-Quds, London & Al-Ayyaam, Ramallah, Palestine
For interviews with Reem Kelani, photographs and further information, please contact Christopher Somes-Charlton at: firstname.lastname@example.org
CD: “Sprinting Gazelle - Palestinian Songs from the Motherland and the Diaspora”
Label: Fuse Records
Produced by: Reem Kelani
Distributor: Proper Music Distribution
Release Date: 06 February 2006