Meet the Artist: Karim Nagi

Posted by Washington Revels
October 15, 2019

Imagine you live in a rustic European village nestled somewhere in the mists of time…

Life revolves around agriculture and the seasons, and the Winter Solstice is fast approaching. You and your neighbors hope the harvest will carry you through the shortest, darkest days, and as always, your village prepares to keep the year alive with brightly burning Yule logs, hearty songs, lively dances, and cherished stories.

But this year, something unexpected happens! Three wandering performers arrive, and they are unlike any people who have ever visited before — dressed in bright, strange clothing, atop a colorful wagon, sharing their cultural riches in the form of tales, music and dance that you’ve never seen or heard. Who are these traveling Fools that call themselves the Sun, Moon, and Stars?

Meet Our Sun Fool!

Karim Nagi is a native Egyptian immigrant to the USA and a true crossover artist uniting the Arab tradition with the global contemporary world. Based in Chicago, he maintains a busy travel schedule as a drummer, DJ, composer and folk dancer. Karim has released 14 CDs, ranging from traditional Arab music to fusion and electronica. He has authored instructional DVDs for the Tabla/Doumbek, Riqq tambourine, Maqam and Taqsim, Finger Cymbals, Drum Solo for Dance, and Arab Folk Dance. As a dance and drum teacher, he has lectured and presented at universities around the world, and has taught at dozens of festivals in the US, Asia, Europe and Cairo, as well as most major Arab Culture festivals in the US. We’re very excited for Karim to join us onstage to share his artistry as Christmas Revels tradition bearer in this year’s “Celestial Fools” production!

You can learn more about Karim and his many projects on his website, and we wanted to highlight two videos that showcase the important work he is pursuing in order to demystify and humanize Arab culture through the universal language of music:

Karim Nagi: Artist Profile


Karim Nagi: Arabiqa School Assemblies


Like Karim, Washington Revels is committed to bringing people closer together through the power of traditional music, dance and drama. Experience a feeling of community with us this December as we revel with tradition bearers Karim Nagi, Shizumi Shigeto Manale and Mark Novak, and our onstage village of over 100, ages 9-90. Welcome Yule!

See The Christmas Revels: “Celestial Fools”

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