Musical Performance: Alwan Festival of Sacred Music: Arab Sufi Music With Tarab

Sat, October 6, 2007 9:30 pm at Alwan for the Arts

(View all musical performances »)

Alwan for the Arts invites you

To the last concert in the Ramadan series

Admission: $15 ($10 for students with valid ID)

Tarab, founded in 1998, is a group of New York-based musicians who focus on studying and performing the classical Arabic repertoire, instrumental (with such genres as samai, lunga, dulab) and vocal, with special emphasis on the Andalusi Muwashah and Sufi repertoire. The ensemble also explores traditional folk music from various regions of the Arab world. Importance is given to improvisation, both vocal and instrumental, to allow each musician to explore the maqamat, or scales. The sets performed are generally in the form of a wasla, which is a suite of several pieces all sharing the same maqam. Since its foundation, Tarab has performed at several venues and festivals, such as Symphony Space, The Great Hall at Cooper Union, The Joseph Papp Theater, Bowery Ballroom, The Balkan Music Festival, Club Passim, York University Toronto and The University of Michigan. Tarab also composed soundtracks for two documentaries and one play.

The Musicians:

Tareq Abboushi (Buzuq)

Tareq Abboushi is a graduate from William Paterson University with a B.M. in Jazz Piano Performance. For the past seven years he has been studying the buzuq both in New York City as well as Ramallah, Palestine. Tareq currently performs with a number of groups in the New York area, ranging from dance pop to religious sufi music. Tareq is leading and composing for his own quintet "SHUSMO," playing mostly original compositions of Middle Eastern/Jazz fusion. Since releasing their first album “One” in February 2005, the quintet has taken part in various festivals: Atlantic Antic Festival, Sounds of the City Festival, and the Jerusalem Festival. He also composed and recorded music for the film "West Bank-Brooklyn," and has also appeared on two albums of children's music with Dan Zanes "House Party" and "Night Time!" The latter has won the “Best children's CD of the year (2002)” award by

Taoufiq Ben Amor (Vocals, Oud and Percussion)

Taoufiq Ben Amor is a Tunisian vocalist, percussionist and oud player. Taoufiq started learning percussion at an early age, then learned the Malouf (Andalusian repertoire) and sang with ensembles and choirs for many years. Fifteen years ago, he began studying the oud and the Arabic maqam system with various teachers such as Mohamed Labbad, Jamal Aslan and Simon Shaheen.

For the last decade, Taoufiq has been an active performer in the US and Canada and played in various venues including the Joseph Papp Theater, Symphony Space, Cooper Union, the Knitting Factory as well as several campuses. He is involved in several projects including fusion with North Indian, Afro-Brazilian and Iranian musicians. Taoufiq is also an educator, who does research and lecture on the subject and conducts workshops. He founded The Columbia Middle Eastern Music Ensemble and he produces the music series at the Alwan Center for The Arts in New York City. Taoufiq is currently Professor of Arabic at Columbia University.

Ramzi El-Edlibi (Tabla, Riq, Daf and Dance)

Ramzi El-Edlibi’s dance career began in Lebanon as he studied with the renowned choreographer Wadia Garrar and was a principal dancer with the Caracalla Dance Co. With Carracalla and on his own, Ramzi traveled extensively as a much sought-after performer of the Middle Eastern Folk Dance Art Form, performing in Russia, Japan, Spain, France, the U.K, Egypt, Libya, Iraq and more. Each of these locations have offered not only the opportunity to demonstrate his talents, but to extend them—absorbing influences from the various cultures that would continue to add interesting and varied dimensions to the complex tapestry of his art and his life. Ramzi is also an accomplished percussion player and teacher, mastering the tabla, riq (Arab tambourine) and frame drum.

Johnny Farraj (Percussion)

Johnny Farraj studied the riq (Egyptian tambourine) and frame drum with Karim Nagi and Fairuz's percussionist Michel Merhej. He also studied the oud with Simon Shaheen and Bassam Saba, and classical Arabic singing with Rima Khcheich and Youssef Kassab. As a percussionist, he has performed with Simon Shaheen/Qantrara (Symphony Space) and Amir El-Saffar, and recorded on the soundtrack of the play "9 Parts of Desire" by Heather Raffo. Johnny has performed and given lecture demonstrations in universities and museums throughout the US and Canada, and has taken part in several fusion collaborations involving classical Indian, Persian and Jazz. Johnny annually attends the Arabic Music Retreat, and has created the web site to teach classical Arabic music (maqam) theory.

Zafer Tawil (Violin, Oud and Percussion)

Zafer Tawil is an accomplished Palestinian musician based in New York City. He is a virtuoso on oud, violin, and qanun, and a master of Arabic percussion. Zafer performs in concerts, clubs, and at private events, and holds workshops in oud technique, and in Arabic music theory – across the US and in the Middle East, including a recent performance at Zankel Hall with Simon Shaheen. Zafer is constantly exploring the boundaries of Arabic music, and has worked on many collaboration concerts involving classical Indian and Persian music and Jazz fusion.

Last updated: 2007-11-20 15:44:46

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