Ten years ago Dutch songwriter and guitarist Ad van Meurs, U''d ( Arabic Lute ) virtuoso Haytham Safia and singer Ankie Keultjes met in a unique world music project that combines American Folk and Blues with traditional Arabic music styles. Now travelling as a trio ''The Big World'' they give the audience a taste of their ''Arabicana'' as they call it.
With this surprising patchwork of upbeat Arabic tunes, moving folk ballads and blues, singing together in English and Arabic, they''re creating a completely original and peaceful musical language.
AD VAN MEURS - aka The Watchman (guitar)
Ad van Meurs started his musical career in the 70s as pianist with the folk rock-band Deirdre. In 1982 he formed the successful new wave band W.A.T. who were uniquely remarkable because of their special fusion between the synthesizer and (slide) guitar. By 1988, armed with his guitar and rythmbox he soldiered on under the guise of The Watchman.
HAYTHAM SAFIA (Ud, Arabic lute)
Haytham Safia (1980) is from Kafr Yasif, a small town in Galilee. His passion for the U’d starts at an early stage. In 2001 he makes his debut as a performer in the Netherlands, where he acquires a firm position in the musical ensemble accompanying the Galili Dance Group: they tour through Europe. In 2002 he graduates with distinction at the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem. Haytham Safia is in essence a classical Arabic musician, but his compositions and music are influenced by other musical styles such as Persian, Balkanian and jazz music.
ANKIE KEULTJES (Singer)
Singer, sound engineer with the Watchman, No Blues, the Folksurvivalclub, studio owner, producer.