Moneka Arabic Jazz aims to bridge cultures and create a dynamic space for musical collaboration and exploration. It draws upon bandleader Ahmed Moneka’s Afro-Iraqi heritage and his journey from Baghdad to Toronto – with many stops in between. The group also mines Ahmed’s recent experiences in Toronto’s culturally diverse communities to create a vibrant and captivating sound that seamlessly blends different traditions. Welcomed with open arms into his local music scene, Ahmed has been a part of the border-hopping band Moskitto Bar and the watershed Canadian Global Orchestra Kuné. He is committed to sharing his heritage, learning, traditions, and outlook through his music.  Ahmed says, “I live in Toronto, I’m Iraqi, Arabic…I got inspired by a lot of different backgrounds—Cuban, jazz, Balkan, African, Asian music, and I also like Canadian music. I thought I had something to share. To add to the dish. And it was my Iraqi African heritage, which is embodied in Moneka Arabic Jazz.”