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Arabesque,” the Kennedy Center‘s massive three-week festival of Arts of the Arab World, kicks off its evening performances tonight/Monday with a bit of grrl power. “Oud Knights with Amina and Shayma: When Oud Speaks ” is a one-hour presentation of traditional playing on that lute-like instrument by two youngish women from Bahrain. They do not have a myspace site or any youtube videos that I could find, but according to the Kennedy Center, they learned under Iraqi legend Saad Mahmoud Jawad, and have been playing festivals in Europe and Asia. We will be highlighting other performers in the festival over the next few weeks. The event will include artists from 22 countries (including Palestinian performers but no one from Iran). Some upcoming musical highlights this week include Chabab Al Andalous Rabat Orchestra with Bajeddoub Mohammed and Ronda Bahae , a Moroccan ensemble that keeps alive Andalusian music using Arabic poems and traditional instruments, and onetime Rolling Stones member Brian Jones’ favorite trance music outfit from the Moroccan mountains, Bachir Attar & the Master Musicians of Jajouka.

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Chabab Al Andalous Rabat Orchestra with Bajeddoub Mohammed and Ronda Bahae

Monday February 23-Oud Knights from 6 to 7 p.m. for free on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage

Wednesday February 25-Chabab Al Andalous Rabat Orchestra with Bajeddoub Mohammed and Ronda from 6 to 7 p.m. for free on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage

Bachir Attar & the Master Musicians of Jajouka at 8 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, $18 to $35.