Arab Rhythm & Percussion with Zafer Tawil (Spring 2014)

Mar 02, 2014-Apr 27, 2014

Sundays, 5:00 pm

Teachers: Zafer Tawil

Sundays: 5:00pm-6:30pm
March 2-April 27, 2014 (No Class on March 23)

4 & 8 Session Packages Available for Group Instruction
Private Instruction Available



Each week, this course will focus on presenting and performing 2-3 new rhythms typical of Arab classical and folk songs from across the greater Middle East in an invigorating and fun group setting.

Students will learn the basic rhythms and play them as a group as Zafer demonstrates specialized ornaments and techniques for the daf (frame drum), darbuke, and riqq. Intermediate to advanced students can take turns trying their hands at these techniques, while beginners can focus on holding down the basic patterns, making this class suitable for novices and experienced percussionists alike.

If you don't own a drum, they may be rented/bought through our instrument rental program or provided at class, pending availability.

Private instruction with Zafer Tawil is also available.

About the Instructor: Zafer Tawil ('oud, violin, qanun, percussion) is a virtuoso on ‘oud, violin, and qanun, and a master of Arab percussion. Zafer has performed in concerts across the country, including performances with numerous musicians ranging from Sting to Arab music virtuosos Chab Mami, Simon Shaheen, Bassam Saba and George Ziadeh, to avant-garde composer/ performer Elliot Sharpe. He was a featured composer and performer in acclaimed director Jonathan Demme's Oscar-nominated film Rachel Getting Married and Zeitoun, based on Dave Eggers’ book about Abdulrahman Zeitoun’s post-Hurricane Katrina odyssey. Zafer has worked on many collaborative concerts involving classical Indian and Persian music, Arabic/jazz fusion, and Arabic music at many institutions and universities across the United States. A native of Jerusalem, Palestine, he resides in New York City.

Private Instruction: $75/hour

Group Instruction Pricing*

Single/Trial $20
4 classes $80 ($20/class)
8 classes $140 (7 classes + 1 class for free)

Registration for group packages open until 1st day of classes 

- 5% Discount with early enrollment/payment (Feb 24)
- 5% Discount for students who sign up to volunteer at Alwan
- Discounts do not apply to private lessons

Group Instruction Policies

  • *Only 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 of Arab Rhythms & Percussion + 4 classes Arab Vocal Traditions=$140)
  • Class will be held so long as a minimum number of students is met by the end of the registration period.

To register and pay for classes or private lessons for the spring semester, use this REGISTRATION FORM or contact:

Kirsten Beck
Program Coordinator, Arabic Language Instructor

Alwan for the Arts - 16 Beaver St, 4th Floor

New York, NY 10004 | Tel: 917-396-8052


Early Registration Deadline: Feb 24, 2014*
Final Registration Deadline: March 2, 2014

Students may attend classes without registering by paying the  "single" class price of $20, 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.

Payment Methods
Payment can be made through the registration form (PayPal), or by check or money order made payable to Alwan Foundation.


Please feel free to email Kirsten Beck at anytime at the following email: with any questions related to language classes and music instruction at Alwan.


Alwan Signature Courses
Stay tuned for Alwan Signature Courses designed by artists, musicians, and cooks that provide unique perspectives on Arabic art, language, and culture.


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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(646) 732 3261
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