Karim Nagi

Karim Nagi

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Karim Nagi

Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Origin=Cairo, Egypt
Occupation = Musician
Instrument = Tabla, Riqq, Sagat (finger cymbals)
URL = [http://www.karimnagi.com www.karimnagi.com]

Karim Nagi is an Egyptian musician, composer, music arranger and DJ. He specializes in traditional Arabic music but is widely known for his innovative approach.

Also known as Turbo Tabla, Karim Nagi has released two CD's distributed Internationally by Universal Records: Belly Dance Overdrive and the Belly and the Beat [ [http://www.turbotabla.com/cds/ Karim Nagi's CDs] ] .These CD's are pioneers mixing traditional arabic sounds with Hip Hop, Techno and House.He has also recorded music for Bellydance Superstars, Bellyqueen, and the Bellytwins, as well as mainstream artists like Alicia Keys, and The Urban Griot Project.

He is also the director of the Sharq ensemble, a group the has revived the traditional Arabic music and has performed, toured and released one CD with the Boston Camerata. [ [http://www.bostoncamerata.com/cd/titles/mediterraneanxmas.htm/ Mediterranean Christmas: Boston Camerata and the Sharq ensemble] ]

Karim Nagi started the program Arabiqa, aimed to educate children and adults alike on Arabic culture through music and arts rather that through religion and politics. [ [http://www.karimnagi.com/arabiqa/ Arabiqa Website] ]


Born in Kuwait, Karim Nagi lives in Egypt until his father receives an offer to complete his residency in England. When he was 7, his father moves to the United States to work as a Doctor.

Music does not become a central point in his life until he meets composer Christopher Stowens, who encourages him to play percussion instruments and teaches him the basics of computer-driven electronic music. He focuses in Middle Eastern instruments like the Tabla, the Riqq, and the Sagat (finger cymbals).

Karim studies philosophy and psychology in the Skidmore College, but he is well known in Boston for his family's boutique in Newbury Street, his participation in fashion shows and his skills as a DJ. However,after 9/11, Karim decides to educate people about his culture instead of hiding his identity. His Arabesque Mondays at Club Passim capture Boston's attention. These monthly gatherings were aimed at educating people not familiar with traditional Arabic music and for those who were, it was a rare opportunity to enjoy it. He attracts Boston's attention and revives the Arab music scene in Boston [ cite news
last = Barchas
first = Elizabeth
title = The Oasis
pages = D1, D12.
language = English
publisher = The Boston Globe
date = 2001-08-17
url = http://search.boston.com/local/Search.do?s.tab=globe&s.sm.query=Karim+Nagi&s.ypsearch=&s.yplocation=Greater+Boston&when=&qf=&qn=&qc=&qs=&lsChk=&s.si(simplesearchinput).sortBy=-articleprintpublicationdate&s.dateRange=

Karim's educative mission moves from the club scene to the class room. He starts teaching Arabic music at The New England Conservatory for Music. His teachings extend to schools covering both the East and West coast. [cite news
last = Kaufman
first = Hayley
title = Middle East medley
pages = B14, B20
language = English
publisher = The Boston Globe
date = 2002-10-10
url = http://search.boston.com/local/Search.do?s.tab=globe&s.sm.query=Karim+Nagi&s.ypsearch=&s.yplocation=Greater+Boston&when=&qf=&qn=&qc=&qs=&lsChk=&s.si(simplesearchinput).sortBy=-articleprintpublicationdate&s.dateRange=

He still teaches at schools, colleges and music and dance events.

Turbo Tabla


Karim Nagi has recorded three CD's under the nick name Turbo Tabla. They have been released by The Miles Copeland Group (Sting,R.E.M., Hakim, Bellydance Superstars, Oojami) and are distributed internationally by Universal Records. They include tracks originally composed or arranged by Nagi. They exemplify the principle "Tradition re-imagined". The songs fuse traditional songs, rhythms and sounds from the Arab world with hip-hop, techno and house music.

With these albums, Karim has reached international recognition and attention: He has been invited to teach and perform in Canada, Mexico, France, Egypt and most of the United States, and will be soon performing in Japan and Taiwan. [ [http://www.karimnagi.com/calendar/ Karim Nagi's Calendar of public performances and workshops] ]


Turbo tabla is widely know for his vibrant and energetic performances. His unique way to play the tabla while dancing makes his shows innovate and exciting. He is also well known for his interpretation of the Sagat with an ambidextrous approach and incorporating body movements to accompany the sound. [*cite book
last = GRACIA
first = Jenna
authorlink = Jenna Gracia
title = The Dancing Cymbalist: How to play Finger Cymbals and dance at the same time.
publisher = [http://www.oynamusicinmotion.com/ Oyna Music in Motion Arts]
year = 2007
location = Boulder, CO
isbn = 978-0-9778193-0-0

In addition, he is a Saidi(Dance from Upper Egypt)dancer and teacher.It is not rare to see him performing it, always with a Galabeya and a pair of canes in the traditional way.

The Traditionalist

Even though he is a pioneer modernizing Arab music, he is also a purist. He is the founder of the [http://www.karimnagi.com/sharq/ Sharq Arabic Music Ensemble] . Their mission: To preserve and present traditional and classical Arabic vocal and instrumental music. The ensemble has performed in Harvard University, MIT , The Boston Center for the Arts,Brooklyn Museum of Art, among many others [ [http://www.kmplimited.com/sharq/shows/Sharq Ensemble's Shows] ] .

On 2005, The Sharq Ensemble joins the Boston camerata on the project [http://www.bostoncamerata.com/cd/titles/mediterraneanxmas.htm/ A Mediterranean Christmas] . They released an album and go on a tour that includes France and Germany. The repertoire is based on medieval musical cultures of southern Europe and northern Africa, between 1200-1900. [cite news
last = Dyer
first = Richard
title = Boston Camerata 'Christmas' has a Middle Eastern flair
language = English
publisher = The Boston Globe
date = 2004-12-15
url = http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/12/15/boston_camerata_christmas_has_a_middle_eastern_flair/

Also on 2005, they release their album "REVIVAL - Wasla Hijazkar and Wasla Bayyati".

Karim has also released albums aiming to educate people about the traditional rhythms of the middle east. These CD's include "RHYTHMS FROM AROUND THE ARAB WORLD" and "ADVANCED RHYTHMS FOR THE ADVANCED DANCER".

Educational Mission

Karim Nagi is also the creator of the program Arabiqa. With this program he visits schools bringing Arabic Music and Arts closer to children. He also gives theses conferences in Colleges, Universities and Music and Dance events.

Karim Nagi explains his mission: "Language and the arts define Arab and Islamic culture. By learning about these unifying themes, one can understand this culture with much more depth and authenticity...My agenda is to demonstrate the depth of Arab art as exemplified in music and dance... Arab culture, through the universal language of music, becomes demystified and humanized. The beauty and authenticity of Arabic music and dance serve as a convincing demonstration of the simultaneous exoticism and familiarity of this ancient culture". [ [http://www.karimnagi.com/arabiqa/mission/ Arabiqa's Mission] ]

He is also a recognized instructor of percussion instruments like the Tabla and the Riqq, and is well known in the Belly Dance community for his workshops for dancers. He has been nominated for the Zaghareet Awars 2008(one of the most important awards for those involved in Middle Eastern dance and music in the United States) in the Category of Favorite Musician [ [http://www.zaghareet.freeservers.com/poll.html/ Zaghareet Awards 2008] ]

He is also the creative director of the Arab Dance Seminar hold annually in Connecticut. [ [http://www.arabdanceseminar.com/ Arab Dance Seminar] ]


Other Sources

* cite news
last = Dyer
first = Richard
title = Camerata blends cultural traditions to capture holiday's spirit
language = English
publisher = The Boston Globe
date = 2004-12-18
url = http://www.boston.com/news/globe/living/articles/2004/12/18/camerata_blends_cultural_traditions_to_capture_holidays_spirit/

* cite news
last = Young
first = Bob
title = Turbo Tabla mixes Mideast tradition with modern beat
pages = S29
language = English
publisher = Boston Herald
date = 2003-02-07
url = http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/bostonherald/access/284865551.html?dids=284865551:284865551&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Feb+7%2C+2003&author=BOB+YOUNG&pub=Boston+Herald&edition=&startpage=S.29&desc=Jazz%2FWorld%3B+Turbo+Tabla+mixes+Mideast+tradition+with+modern+beat/

External links

* [http://www.turbotabla.com/ Turbo Tabla Website]
* [http://www.karimnagi.com/sharq/ Sharq Arabic Music Ensemble]
* [http://turbotabla.tribe.net/ Fan site for Karim Nagi]
last = Arida
first = Holly
author-link = Holly Arida
last2 = Ameri
first2 = Anan
author2-link = Anan Ameri
title = Etching Our Own

year = 2001
date = June
url =http://www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/Etching-Our-Own-Image--Voices-from-Within-the-Arab-American-Art-Movement.htm

* [http://www.atlantaoasis.com/article_turbotabla.cfm/ Atlanta Oasis: Interview with Karim Nagi]

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