Ahmed Moneka

During his formative years in Iraq, Ahmed Moneka learned traditional songs and drumming in an African family tradition that was brought to Iraq in the 12th century. Later he was accepted to the top high school for the performing arts in Baghdad, where he learned a variety of artistic disciplines from theatre to singing maqam (scales and nuances) of Middle Eastern music. Through these experiences, Ahmed acquired his perspectives on our world and his place within it, and continued attending the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad. During these years, he began to be especially moved by stories of human struggle, freedom and love, and formed his convictions about human rights through his art, performance, voice and his songs.

Since arriving in Canada from Iraq in 2016, Ahmed Moneka’s contribution as a performing artist in music and theatre has been welcomed and notable. The scene has warmly embraced his Afro Iraqi artistic heritage - its stories and songs - into its own growing cultural narrative. Ahmed has participated in many collaborations including the Canadian Opera Company, Aga Khan Museum, Tafelmusik, Koerner Hall and Lula Wold. Moneka is one of the founders of Moskitto Bar and the creator/leader of Moneka Arabic Jazz. He has been an Artist-in-Residence with Driftwood Theatre Group and a Stingray Rising Stars Finalist at the 2019 TD Toronto Jazz Festival.

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