The House of Songs Ozarks in Bentonville has announced its January visiting artists will include Egyptian rock star Ramy Essam, and Cornell University Law Professor and Earth Day co-founder Gerald Torres.
There are planned appearances and pop-up performances scheduled throughout Northwest Arkansas on Jan. 18, 20 and 22.
Essam is known as “the voice of the 2011 Egyptian revolution,” due to his songwriting and performances in Tahrir Square while calling for the resignation of then-ruler Hosni Mubarak, according to the House of Songs.
“During his time of protest, Essam was beaten, arrested and tortured as a result of his outspokenness, with the intention of silencing him. His songs were banned, and he was forbidden to perform in a public setting,” according to a House of Songs statement.
Ramy moved to Sweden in 2014 and began releasing new music with a rock influence. “He remains a voice for the youth of Egypt, and a symbol of progression and social activism,” according to House of Songs.
Torres is a blues harmonica player and has “established himself as a leading figure in his fields of race theory, federal Indian law and environmental law,” according to House of Songs.
He serves as the board chair of Earth Day, has served as deputy assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and also as counsel to then-U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.
A list of upcoming performances follows.
- Essam will perform at Artinfusion’s Happy Hour + Happening on Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. The event which will feature a question-and-answer session moderated by Torres, followed by a performance in the museum’s Great Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
- Torres will perform at the Museum of Native American History’s 2018 Native Conversations series on Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at MONAH in Bentonville. He will speak on water, while performing harmonica and will be joined by the Fayetteville-based band, Lost John. The event is free and open to the public.
- Essam will perform Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Arkansas Faulkner Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available through the Faulkner Center.