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Zouk Mikael Festival Program 2017

Guy Manoukian and Mayssa Karra

Zouk Mikael Festival Program 2017

Guy Manoukian

Lebanese musician, composer and pianist, Guy Manoukian has been a key musical player both locally and internationally for the last 15 years. Not only has he worked with the biggest names in the US, but his fusion of oriental melodies with modern arrangements has taken him all over the world, selling out concerts in London, Singapore, Cairo, Dubai, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Los Angeles, Yerevan the Sydney Opera House, The Beiteddine and Byblos International festivals and many more.

Guy Manoukian started playing piano at the age of four. Mentored by the best classical music teachers, he first appeared on television when he was six years old and was only seven when he performed at the Presidential Palace! He started composing music a year later, winning his first competition.
While attending an Armenian school, Guy also joined a music school where he participated in concerts. Though his original dream was to become a professional basketball player, Guy was dedicated to his craft, and at 16, he played his first solo concert. Expecting 400 people, he was surprised to find the venue packed with over 1000 attendees. This first taste of success made him realise that music was truly his calling. Little did he know then, that he’d later be the first artist from the Middle East to get endorsed by Yamaha pianos and be their brand ambassador!
He started performing professionally in 1997: now in his early twenties, he played at the Jeita Grotto followed by two sold-out concerts at the UNESCO palace. The turning point in Manoukian’s career came when he started fusing Arabic with modern contemporary arrangements. He attributes the unique flavor of his music to his rich culture. “Armenian culture was at the core of my existence and hence my music”, he says. “My music is modern in arrangement but very classical in spirit; my albums which are studio recorded are very club oriented whereas my performances are live and directed for a broader audience.”
Guy is the recipient of many awards but the ones he cherishes the most are the Armenian Music Award that he received in Los Angeles for Best Dance Album, and the Best Arabic Tune of the Year Award for “Harem” which he earned in Lebanon in 2002 in addition to the Best Dance Album at the Arabian Music Awards held in Dubai in 2003.
Performing all over the globe, from Chile to Sydney, Manoukian still finds time to work with the biggest pop acts: he recorded "On Tour" with Wyclef Jean, worked with 50 Cent, French rapper Diams, Raul Di Blasio and Mario Reyes of the Gipsy Kings family.
This summer Manoukian celebrates his 25th year in show business with a new show entitled “The Journey” which will kick off at the Zouk International Festival and end in Los Angeles.

Jul 04 - 2017
The Journey
150,000LL, 120,000LL, 80,000LL, 50,000LL, 35,000LL

Mayssa Karaa

With her captivating multi-octave voice and persuasive cross-cultural message, vocalist and songwriter Mayssa Karaa creates songs that tell of a journey connecting her origins in the ancient land of Lebanon to her adopted home of Los Angeles, California.
Her full-length solo debut is about to be released. She reveals the inspiration for the song “Call Me a Stranger,”: “I have been in the U.S. for 11 years, but sometimes I feel like I am in between two places, like I have lost a part of my identity.”
Cinema audiences might identify Mayssa’s voice from the hit film American Hustle, and her Arabic version of “White Rabbit” on the Grammy-nominated soundtrack. Television audiences might recognise her from the PBS Special Enrico Caruso: His Life, His Cities, His Music featuring Placido Domingo in Naples. (She is also featured in the follow-up in the summer of 2017.) International families might identify “The Arabic Alphabet Song” from Sesame Street that generated over 20 million YouTube views.
Melding Arabic influences into Western music is Mayssa’s forte: notable recordings in her catalogue include a version of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” accompanied by the band’s Scott Page to which both Roger Waters and David Gilmour granted their blessings
Mayssa, who sings in many languages, has travelled the world with music as her passport. “I came here to expand, to tell others about my culture and learn about theirs. What surprised me was how nice people are here, and how free I felt. I was born and raised in Lebanon, but I am very much an American too. I’m like you.”

Jul 06 - 2017
Tasting Words, Seeing Sounds, Hearing Colours.
150,000LL, 120,000LL, 80,000LL, 50,000LL, 35,000LL