Moneka Arabic Jazz is 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 honored to collaborate with fascinating local musicians and share this heritage and traditions with everyone. Jazz, Maqam and funk is a way bridge his Iraqi-black 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 Sweetwater Music Festival, another at Small world music festival in Toronto’s Fort York park (September 16 2022) and a two week tour in Bogotá Colombia including Jazz al Parque and the Festival de Músicas del Mundo. And recently Ahmed won Stingray Rising Stars Award Winner at Mundial Montréal 2022.