Classes

Iraqi Folk and Popular Songs with Amir ElSaffar

May 31, 2012-Jun 21, 2012

Thursdays, 6:00 pm

Teachers: Amir ElSaffar

Thursday Evenings 6:00pm-7:20pm
Semester: May 31st-June 21st 
4 sessions

This class focuses on the popular songs of Iraq, known as pestaat (sing. Pesta), which are sung after the Maqam in performance. These light-hearted, rhythmic, and often humorous, songs balance the meditative and contemplative nature of the maqam. Although they appear to be simple and repetitive on the surface, within their rhythms, melodic framework, and lyrics can be found profound and beautiful elements of Iraqi history and culture.

Class Structure: In each class, students will learn to sing and tap the rhythms to 1-2 songs from different regions of Iraq. Lyrics will be provided in English transliteration as well as Arabic.

Group Instruction Pricing:

Single/Trial $20
4 classes $75 ($18.75/class)
8 classes $140 ($17.50/class)
12 classes $200 ($16.67/class)

*Alwan members receive 10-15% discounts on lessons! Click here to learn more about membership options and view discount levels.

Group Instruction Policies

  • *One trial class may be taken per student. If a student decides to enroll in a package of classes, the trial session will count as the first lesson of the package and its price will be deducted from the overall cost.
  • Students enrolling in a single class or package of 4 or 8 may choose to attend any session throughout the semester.
  • If a student decides to enroll in a package after taking one single trial class, the trial session will count as the first class of the package and its price will be deducted from the overall cost.
  • Combination packages available and customizable to student’s preferences
    (e.g. 4 classes Umm Kalthoum + 4 classes Arab Grooves + 4 classes Iraqi Songs=$200)
  • Class will be held so long as a minimum number of students is met by the end of the registration period.

Registration:
To register for classes or private lessons (click here to learn more about private instruction) for the summer 2012 semester, email lety@alwanforthearts.org with:

  • Class(es) you're interested in taking
  • Number of sessions in which you'd like to enroll
  • Level and/or experience (so we can get an idea of the class composition, all levels encouraged to attend!)

Make sure to mention if you are a member of Alwan - many of our membership levels receive 10-15% discounts on lessons! Click here to learn more about membership options and view discount.

Ongoing registration throughout the semester -email for details 

**Students may attend classes without registering by paying the "single" class price of $20 cash or check made payable to the Alwan Foundation, but please check the website to confirm that class is meeting on the day you decide to attend, and, if possible, email to let us know when you plan to attend.

Please feel free to email lety@alwanforthearts.org with any questions related to music instruction at Alwan.

Amir ElSaffar (trumpet, santur, vocal instruction, Iraqi Maqam) is an Iraqi-American trumpeter, santur player, vocalist, and composer who has distinguished himself with a mastery of disparate musical styles and a singular approach to combining aspects of Middle Eastern music with American jazz, extending the boundaries of each tradition. A skilled jazz trumpeter with a classical background, ElSaffar has created new techniques to play microtones and ornaments that are idiomatic to Arabic music but are not typically heard on the trumpet. Additionally, he is an acknowledged performer of the classical Iraqi maqam tradition, and performs actively in the US, Europe and the Middle East as a vocalist and santur player. As a composer, ElSaffar has used the microtones found in maqam music to create a unique approach to harmony and melody, establishing himself as an important voice in an age of cross-cultural music making. ElSaffar has received grants to compose music from Chamber Music America, the Jazz Institute of Chicago, the Jerome Foundation, Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT), and the Painted Bride Arts Center in Philadelphia. Please visit Amir's website for more information.

Alwan for the Arts

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
(between Broad St. and Broadway)
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261

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