The group name Al Qahwa is Arabic for “the coffee house”. It was inspired by the coffee house culture in the Middle East where people would go to hear the latest news, music, poetry and stories. The repertoire began with traditional songs from Syria, Egypt and Iraq and then in 2018, the group started adding original repertoire by members of the band. Their second recording “Cairo Moon” is a cultural collaboration between the regular members of Al Qahwa and two guest artists: Dr. Alfred Gamil – one of Cairo’s treasured violinists/composers who is both steeped in tradition and known for his virtuosic, flirtatious creative presence; and Majd Sukar – a deeply rooted Syrian musician who has adapted the clarinet to Arabic music. In 2020, “African Routes”, inspired by the music of North Africa, was released with guests: Roula Said – a long time collaborator with Maryem, originally from Palestine; Waleed Abdulhamid – originally from Sudan; and Fethi Nadjem – originally from Algeria.

Al Qahwa’s new recording “Weyn Allah” adds Waleed Abdulhamid (bass, vocals) to the core group. It was made with support from The Toronto Arts Council and The Ontario Arts Council. It will be released in June 2023 followed by a Canadian tour with the 6 piece ensemble, adding Roula Said (dance, percussion and back up vocals).

There will be a CD release concert on June 18, 2023 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Tranzac (292 Brunswick Avenue).  Get tickets here.

Beverly Kreller
Publicist | SPEAK Music
bev@speak-music.com | 416-922-3620
Manager/Booking Agent:
Gary Cristall – garycristall@telus.net/(604) 255-9088

To buy Al Qahwa CDs or tracks digitally, go to:


To order and buy physical CDs directly from the band, send email to alqahwaensemble@gmail.com

To support Al Qahwa, please donate to their tip jar at this link:


Or click the yellow donate button below:



A Cultural Cabaret

June 10, 2023
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Humber College, Lakeshore Campus

Al Qahwa will be performing a set for a multicultural festival in Etobicoke sponsored by the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra.

Al Qahwa CD Release Concert – “Weyn Allah”

June 18, 2023 - June 19, 2023
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The Tranzack - 292 Brunswick Avenue, Toronto, ON
Please join Al Qahwa (Maryem Tollar, Ernie Tollar, Demetri Petsalakis, Naghmeh Farahmand and Waleed Abdulhamid) to celebrate our new release “Weyn Allah”. We will be joined by Roula Said.
Tickets $15
Contact Maryem at:
for a discount code if you are an artist/student or senior
Al Qahwa made this CD with the support of The Toronto Arts Council and The Ontario Arts Council.

Western Canada Tour

July 10, 2023 - July 16, 2023
12:00 am
British Columbia

Al Qahwa is currently booking festivals and venues in Western Canada and around Ontario. Check in after the new year to see where you can catch the 6 piece band who will be touring and promoting their 4th album release – “Weyn Allah” which is being recorded with support from The Toronto Arts Council and The Ontario Arts Council.

Al Qahwa is in talks with festivals and venues and will reveal the full tour as things get confirmed.

AL QAHWA SUMMER 2023 TOUR (Check back in the new year to see upates)

July 11 and 12, 2023 – Harrison Festival of the Arts, Harrison Hot Springs, BC

July 14 to 16, 2023 – Vancouver Island Musicfest, Courtenay, BC