DRUMMER, DJ & ORATOR KARIM NAGI
GUIDES YOU ON AN ALTERNATIVE TOUR
OF THE ARAB WORLD & ARAB DIASPORA.
USING RHYTHM & VERSE KARIM DESCRIBES
REVOLUTION, RECREATION, IMMIGRATION,
PROFILING, FOOD, DANCE, MUSIC & MORE.
ARAB LIFE IS RECOUNTED USING MODERN
STORYTELLING, PERCUSSION & AN URBAN
REMIX SOUNDSCAPE. ORIGINAL ART & VIDEO COMPLETE THE ITINERARY. EDUCATIONAL &
GROOVEWORTHY, IT IS THE PERFECT TRIP.
Qantara . Monolith Cocjtail . Midwest Record . Sound Roots . Roots World .
"a physical manifestation of beauty and joy"
- Chicago Tribune
"Detour Guide is an extraordinary work from the mind and heart of an extremely gifted and talented artist. It introduces us to an Arab world we never see in the movies or television news."
"It is an adventure worth taking. Nagi's lyrics are intriguing, barbed and catchy."
"Karim Nagi seeks to confound critics and the ignorant alike with a humorous musical whirlwind detour through the social and geopolitics of the Middle East."
20 Shows in Chicago from March 11 thru April 7, 2019
It has become impossible for me to merely dance & play music for their own sakes. I certainly do not need any motivation to drum the riqq or strum the buzuq; they have the full power to enchant without any additional agenda needed. But how can I use their power to help assuage the major dangerous issues of our time ? Issues like racism, ethnic marginalization, and profiling ? I have always used these instruments, dances & costumes to take people on cultural tours of my Arab world. Now it is time to take a DETOUR. This new play is full of music, and I have added an itinerary. The audience become "Detourists", as the GUIDE makes stops, not in cities, but in scenes. Each scene takes a famous assumptive trope of the Arab world - Orientalism, revolution, immigration, recreation, representation - and the DETOUR GUIDE proceeds to dismantle each of them. He uses the pontificating humor and balladic recitation styles of Arab "zajal" & "rawi" practices, all re-imagined into English. With a drum, folklore dance, imagery and oratory, he takes back the megaphone. For 80 minutes, his drum & megaphone will be louder than the 7pm news, or the Hollywood dolby-surround-sound, or the abrasive political men. You will find yourself singing these sticky song choruses after you leave the theater. But more importantly, I want you to remember the tour, so you can help guide others.
KARIM NAGI, 01/14/19
#5 - EVERYONE DABKE
filmed in Colombia, Sardinia, L.A. & Maine
Stomping To The Sound Of The Tabli
Singing Or Shouting A Melody
Holding Hands Because We Are Family
This Is The Dance For Everyone Called Dabke
#7 - ORIENTAL MAGIC CARPET
filmed in Boston, with projected archives
...Delacroix Painting Naked Harem Feist
Of A Place South of Europe Yet Labeled East
Arabian Persian Indian Chinese Thai
All Close Enough For A Carpet To Fly
The East Goes From Morocco To Japan
But The West Goes From Austria to Washington ?
Anything Exotic Is Labeled "The Orient"
And Most Of The World Lives In That Nomad's Tent...
#11 - BALADI TUKTUK
filmed in Cairo, Alexandria & Boston
He Was An Immigrant In America
Serving Canned Hummus, It's A Joke Joke
So He Left Aladdin's Back To Cairo
Now He Drives His Own TukTuk
He Worked 18 Hours, Just Broke Even
Spare Cash Bought Hookah Smoke Smoke
Now He's Back In The Homeland, Self-Employed
With A Pimped-Out Baladi TukTuk