Blur singer Albarn to reunite Syrian orchestra for WWI concert

Singer Damon Albarn, pictured on July 22, 2015, will reunite the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music for a concert in London in JuneBritish singer Damon Albarn is to reunite the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music, whose members have been forced to flee the country's civil war, as part of the World War I centenary celebrations. The orchestra, which previously played with Albarn at the Damascus Opera House in 2008 and who appeared on the song "White Flag" by his band Gorillaz, will play London's Royal Festival Hall on June 25 as part of the "14-18-NOW" art events to mark the 100-year milestone. Albarn, frontman of Blur, said he had "watched from a distance and felt utterly helpless, wondering about all of the lovely people I've got to know" as orchestra members fled Syria while it descended into civil war following the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

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