The Berklee Middle Eastern Festival is a celebrated annual event that brings together artists from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean with students from all over the world to learn and experience the musical traditions of those regions.
The show features a collective of students, ensembles, performers from the Berklee and regional communities, visiting artists, dancers, and visual artists and focuses on a different region, theme, and tradition every year, aspiring to foster cultural exchange and understanding. Founded and directed by Christiane Karam, professor in the voice department, past festivals have focused on classical Arabic, Turkish Gypsy, Mediterranean, Armenian, Persian, Balkan, and Flamenco traditions and have included artists such as Pepe de Lucía, Javier Limón, Bassam Saba, Simon Shaheen, Binka Dobreva, Hüsnü Senlendiriçi, and Tigran Hamasyan.
In this edition, the festival will celebrate fifteen years of music and intercultural exchange. It will feature visiting artists from the early years such as the New Year Gypsy All Stars, as well as acclaimed Berklee ensembles such as the Middle Eastern Fusion Ensemble and the Berklee World Strings. The Pletenitsa Balkan Choir will also present the release of their debut album, Dreams.