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AHMED MONEKA

"Love is the main reason for a great future..."

My life and experiences as a multidisciplinary artist specializing in acting in theatre/film and Afro-Middle Eastern music. Originally from Baghdad, Iraq. I was raised by a musical family honouring and preserving their Afro-Iraqi culture and traditions. My primary purpose as an artist is to spread love, peace, acceptance, and a sense of a “global community” by connecting cultures, consequently countering the negative, stereotypical perspective of Arab culture. 

MUSIC

Moneka Arabic Jazz

A project reflecting Ahmed's journey and culture to the Toronto music scene. It introduces ‘maqam’ style Arabic music skills that he learned in Baghdad, Iraq where he grew up, mixed with African groove and rhythm that he inherited from his African descendants, the well-known Moneka family. Because Ahmed’s journey brought him in 2015 to Toronto, Canada, he has been honoured to collaborate with fascinating local musicians and share this heritage and traditions with everyone. Jazz, Maqam and funk are a way to bridge his Afro-Arabic background to the diversity of Toronto performers. This ensemble instantly made a splash in Toronto’s music community, featuring as it does, the very best jazz and Arabic music musicians in the city– it was a supergroup at birth. Just a year after its founding, Moneka Arabic Jazz won Stingray Rising Stars Award Winner at the Toronto Jazz Festival in 2019. Emerging from the global pandemic, it has become clear that Moneka Arabic Jazz is a headliner band for live concerts– just in one recent month, headlining performances at MIX TO Music Festival, Small World Music and a tour in Bogotá Colombia, including Jazz al Parque and the Festival de Músicas del Mundo and National in Canada.

Other projects:

Management & Enquiries: lulaworldrecords@gmail.com

  • Apple Music
  • Spotify
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
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Shows 

Winnipeg Jazz Festival             June 22               Winnipeg 

The Opera House                       June 15                Toronto

TD Toronto Jazz Festival           June 26               Toronto 

Edmonton Jazz Festival            June 29               Edmonton 

Calgary Jazz Festival                  June 30               Calgary

 

Montreal Jazz Festival               July 4                   Montreal 

Saskatchewan Jazz Festival     July 9                   Saskatoon 

Halifax Jazz Festival                   July 14                  Halifax  

Nuits d'Afrique                            July 17                  Montreal 

Ottawa Chamberfest                August 3              Ottawa

 

National Arts Center                 August 6/7           Ottawa

 

Harbourfront                              August 8               Toronto

Festival des traditions              August 15              Sherbrooke

du monde 

Markham Jazz Festival             August 18             Markham

ROM                                              August 23             Toronto 

ACTING

Ahmed is a talented black Iraqi actor who studied theatre at the Institute of Fine Arts and later at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad. He became the youngest member of the Iraqi National Theater and the first black Iraqi to host a television program. Ahmed played the lead role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Shakespeare Company in England.

 

Moneka moved to Toronto and collaborated with several Theatre companies, including the Crow's Theatre, Soulpepper Theatre, Driftwood Theatre Group, Jabari Dance Theatre, Modern Times Stage and Others. He held various positions, including artist-in-residence with Driftwood Theatre Group and a member of Noteworthy The Musical Stage & Prime Mover.  Member of the prestigious Soulpepper Academy in 2021. Co-founder of TRIA Theatre Company 

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WRITING

Ahmed co-wrote: 

- King Gilgamesh and the Man of the Wild with Jesse LaVercombe and Seth Buckley Tria Threatre ( Soulpepper, LaMAMA Theatre, The Jungle Theatre)

- Spaciousness with Nicky Lawrence an immersive theatre piece for The Historic Site of Fort York in 2022 and 2023.

- The Onion Cellar He is developing with Jeremy Smith and DriftWood theatre 

Other projects soon to be shared. Full resume link
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CONTACT

Thank You!

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