Artistic Freedom Initiative Presents Revolutionary, Acclaimed Artists Ramy Essam and ABJEEZ Live in Concert


NEW YORK, December 17, 2018 -- Revolutionary, internationally acclaimed musicians Ramy Essam and ABJEEZ take center stage for an evening of back-to-back performances at (le) Poisson Rouge on Thursday, January 3rd, sponsored by Artistic Freedom Initiative. Tickets are on sale now!

Featured in Rolling Stone, the New York Times, NPR, and in the documentary film “The Square,” Egypt’s Ramy Essam rose to international fame as the voice of the Egyptian revolution in 2011, when his songs spread like wildfire among demonstrators. Hailed as the ‘Bob Dylan of Egypt,’ Ramy is a force of nature whose music is impassioned, explosive, and inspiring. After performing his powerful protest songs for millions in Tahrir Square, Ramy was arrested, tortured and forced to flee Egypt. The Egyptian government banned his songs and public performances. His recent song Balaha includes lyrics critical of Egypt’s president. After the song went viral, the government arrested the lyricist. “In the revolution, I was born again. The struggle became the purpose of my life,” Essam says.

Hailed by the New York Times and BBC for dynamically fusing Iranian soul rhythms with reggae, rock, ska, and flamenco, ABJEEZ—comprised of sisters Melody and Safoura Safavi— create spectacularly unique “Persian World Pop” sounds. Born in Iran, where “Western” music styles are disparaged, and women are forbidden from performing solo on stage, Melody and Safoura have sought to transcend geographic and sonic boundaries with their songs and inspire creativity. Now living outside of Iran, Safoura and Melody use their musical platform to speak for those being silenced or marginalized.


This concert is organized by Artistic Freedom Initiative (AFI), a program of the SDK Foundation for Human Dignity. AFI, a non-profit organization led by immigration and human rights attorneys, provides pro bono immigration representation and resettlement assistance to international artists at risk. In addition, AFI partners with arts and culture organizations, museums, galleries, and performance spaces to create opportunities for artists in their network to showcase their work. ABJEEZ & Ramy Essam are AFI supported artists.

 This concert is presented in conjunction with AFI's month-long exhibition at the Queens Museum. The exhibition “Executive (Dis)Order: Art, Displacement & the Ban,” centers on artists who have been impacted by the travel ban or have otherwise faced restrictions on their rights to freedom of expression and movement.

Concert Details:
Thursday, January 3rd
Doors @ 7 pm | Show @ 8 pm
Advance Ticket Price: $25
Day of Show: $30