The Khaleeji Sea Arts (Funoon Al-Bahar Al-Khaleejiyah) existed as dynamic expressions of trade and cosmopolitanism in the Western Indian Ocean world. They were occasioned by sustained engagements with civilizations spanning Zanzibar to Ceylon and changed over time with the rhythm of the monsoon winds.

Join us for an evening of musical exchange. First, ethnomusicologist Ghazi Al Mulaifi will introduce how bahri (sea) music was born. What are its origins and what were the complexities that brought about this genre of music?

Then there will be a musical performance by Boom.Diwan, a collaborative jazz ensemble that is inspired by Kuwaiti seafaring music.

For those who would like to learn the traditional instruments – tabl, mirwas, yahala and tuwaysa- used in bahri music, they can join the open rehearsals on Thursday and Friday, to learn the instruments, and they can then perform with the band on Saturday.

We invite you to visit us during rehearsals. All rehearsals will be in the Art Gallery Reading Room at NYU Abu Dhabi, Thursday and Friday, November 3rd and 4th, and open to the public from 2-5pm.


Ghazi Al-Mulaifi

Ghazi Al-Mulaifi, PhD is musician, applied-ethnomusicologist, and professor of music who earned his Doctorate of Philosophy in Music from New York University (2015). Al-Mulaifi is also a Venice Biennale artist, composer, global jazz musician, and founder of Boom.Diwan. His research interests include: the Kuwaiti sea arts, global jazz. His current musical efforts include leading his ensemble Boom.Diwan; where he and traditional Kuwaiti musicians dialog Kuwaiti bahri (sea) music with global jazz traditions for the purpose of creating a new Kuwaiti music that revives a musical tradition of dialog and exchange.


Founded by guitarist and applied ethnomusicologist Ghazi Al-Mulaifi, Boom.Diwan is a collaborative global jazz ensemble that revives the cosmopolitan tradition of the Kuwaiti pearl diving music of the Indian Ocean trade with influences spanning Zanzibar to Calicut, improvisation, fluidity, and dialogue are at the center of Boom.Diwan.

Participating Boom.Diwan members at the NYUAD Art Gallery are Abdullah Hamad, Hamad Ben Hussain, Hamed Al Saeed, and Mohammad Al Mudhafar with Claude Cozens, Jesse Boere, and Aaron Marcus-Willers and founder Ghazi Al-Mulaifi.