Sundance 2021 Composer Spotlight: Mahmoud Chouki
Film: Ma Belle, My Beauty
Mahmoud Chouki (Morocco, 1984) is a master guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and composer currently living and working in New Orleans. His art draws together music from several different international contexts to explore how music may speak across cultural divides. His own compositions incorporate musical influences from across the globe, ranging from European classical, Andalusian from Southern Spain, Levantine music from the Middle East, Maghrebian music from North Africa, Latin American music and jazz from the United States. Integrating sounds and rhythms from many different cultures, Chouki combines classical guitar with instruments such as the loutar, the oud, an oriental lute; the Algerian mandole, the Bağlama saz, the banjo, and a variety of percussion instruments.
Chouki’s projects have led him to perform around the world, such as the Magic Lutes Concerts with composer Hughes de Courson and the Symphonic Orchestras in Qatar and Bahrain; Pireneos Sur Festival in Sallent de Gallego, Spain; Snug Harbor in New Orleans, USA; Café de la Danse, Paris, France; and Safar music series at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
As artistic director of Rencontre Orient-Occident at Chateau Mercier in Sierre, Switzerland, Chouki organizes annual artist residencies, bringing together master musicians from east and west. For one week they share and explore each other’s styles and cultures through music and experience, culminating in a final concert. He also currently teaches music at the Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans, and is Music Curator for monthly music programs at the New Orleans Museum of Art.