Musical Performance: Arab Buzuq, Turkish Saz and Greek Bouzouki: Re-encounters Series

Sat, October 20, 2007 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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

Tareq Abboushi (Buzuq)

Ozan Askoy (Saz)

Antonis Tsimounis (Bouzouki)

The Instrument:

The buzuq, bouzouki and saz are cultural variations on the same theme--all three belong to the large family of long-necked lutes with movable or fixed frets. this group of instruments includes the setar, tar, sitar, tambur, pipa, banjo and balalaika among others. All three instruments, despite their specific color and use in local traditions, share some aspects. Other than their obvious physical similarities, they have a light and crisp timbre that makes them perfect for folk music and the accompaniment of singers and troubadours, like the Ashiqs of Turkey and Kurdistan and the Mijana and Ataba poet-singers of Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. Three great musicians will take the three variants of the instrument back to a common ground while demonstrating the specific personality of each.

The Musicians:

Tareq Abboushi

A graduate with honors from William Paterson University with a B.M. in Jazz Piano Performance. Abboushi has been playing the buzuq for nine years, starting at the National Conservatory of Music in Ramallah, Palestine, and continuing in New York City. He has performed with such notable musicians as Simon Shaheen (Symphony Space), David Brosa (The United Nations, Saint John the Divine Cathedral), Omar Farouk Tekbilek, and Dan Zanes (Prospect Park's Celebrate Brooklyn Festival). He has also performed with groups in Boston, Washington DC, Maine, Colorado, Toronto, and Chicago, and has given numerous lecture demonstrations about Arabic Music at Columbia University, NYU, Juilliard, The Museum of the City of New York, and the Children’s Museums of Brooklyn and Manhattan. He is part of many groups in the New York area and 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 (NJPAC), the Jerusalem Festival, Festival du Monde Arabe (Montreal), Sephardic Music Festival (Joe‚s Pub), and the NextNEXT series at BAM. Abboushi has also composed and recorded music for the film „West Bank-Brooklyn,” theme music for WBAI‚s radio show „Fen Meshnoon with Dean and Maysoon.” He has performed on the sound track for the film encounter point, which has won numerous awards, including „best musical score, 2006 Bend Film Festival.” He has also appeared on three albums with Dan Zanes: „Parades and Panoramas,” „House Party” and „Night Time!” The latter has won the „Best children's CD of the year (2002)” Award by

Ozan Aksoy

The roots of Ozan Aksoy's dedication to music lies in his early childhood when his father began teaching him the art of baglama or Turkish saz, (long-necked lute), an instrument of special symbolic importance for the Kurdish Alevi minority in Turkey. He was born in 1976 and developed an interest in the multi-ethnic musical traditions of Turkey from the beginning of his music career, and became a member of the band Kardes Türküler (Ballads of Fraternity) from 1995 to 2003 as an arranger, composer and performer. Aksoy has recorded five albums and given concerts all around Europe and Turkey with the Kardes Turkuler, performing the local music of Anatolia, the Balkans and Caucasus. He has studied various traditional instruments of Turkey and Kurdistan with world renown masters such as with Sadreddin Özçimi, ney (reed flute) and with Kemal Sahir Gürel, kaval (shepherd's flute). Having graduated from Bosporus University in Istanbul, Aksoy has pursued his passion for the different ethnic musical traditions of Kurds and Turkey in various media, including producing a 2003 documentary called The Other Voices for a TV channel in Turkey. He has also composed music for the documentary Sirtlarindaki Hayat (Life on Their Shoulders) and the movie Bulutlari Beklerken (Waiting for the Clouds), both of which were directed by the award-winner film director Yesim Ustaoglu. Besides performing in venues like Miller Theater, Makor, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Cornell University with two groups he founded namely "Nour" and "Ozan Aksoy Trio," he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Ethnomusicology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York as a Chancellor's Fellow and currently teaching world music and music of the Middle East at the Hunter College of CUNY.

Antonis Tsimounis

Born in Greece, Antonis Tsimounis came to the US where he continues to pursue his career as a performer of Greek Cultural and Traditional Music. Antonis is an expert performer of the bouzouki and its art, but is also knowledgeable in other instruments such as joumbous, oud, guitar, and is also an accomplished vocalist. His love for the tradition of Rebetika and cultural music has brought him to teach bouzouki and its historic evolution, to willing students throughout New York. The founder of the band “Eros Taximi”, her performs regularly at small venues and concert halls, including the Metropolitan Museum and the Lincoln Center in New York, and has collaborated in many recordings with local artists.

Last updated: 2007-11-21 10:46:46

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