presents the Children of the Stones Tour, combining the book launch of Sandy Tolan's "Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land", accompanied by Ramzi Aburedwan and the Dal'Ouna Ensemble in a U.S. Premiere Tour, with special guests vocalist Lena Seikaly, percussionist Tareq Rantisi, 'oudist Ziad Ben Youssef, and accordionist Edwin Buger.
Tolan's "Children of the Stone" traces the story of Ramzi Aburedwan, whose iconic image as an eight-year-old boy throwing a stone during the first Palestinian Intifada captures the universal desire of Palestinians for freedom. The biographical narrative follows the transformation of a frustrated youth growing up in a refugee camp into a widely-respected classical and Arab musician, who subsequently established the Palestinian music academy of Al Kamandjati.
The tour will feature Aburedwan's compositions and performances by gifted Palestinian singers, percussionists, string musicians, 'oud and buzuk players, in conjunciton with dramatic readings from Tolan’s book, backed by original music preformed by the Dal'Ouna Ensemble.Buy Tickets Here
World Class Arts Website: Children of the Stones Tour
The Dal'ouna Ensemble, named after a festive Palestinian folk song, presents a repertoire that extends over various Middle Eastern musical traditions mixed with medieval and jazz-like elements that offer an interesting musical confluence of East and West. The Ensemble also combines traditional Arab instruments such as the buzuk, 'oud and oriental percussion with viola and accordion.
Sandy Tolan is an award-winning author and journalist, who has reported from over 35 countries, mostly in Latin America and the Middle East, and written for more than 40 newspapers and magazines. Tolan has also produced hundreds of documentaries and features for NPR and Public Radio International. A central focus of his work has been the intersection of territorial conflicts, racial and ethnic identity, natural resources, and the global economy. He is a co-founder of Homelands Productions, an independent production company focusing on documentary work for public radio. Sandy was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard and an I.F. Stone Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC-Berkeley, where he taught from 2000-2007. Today, he is Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.
Ramzi Aburedwan studied at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Ramallah. In 1998-2005, Ramzi received a scholarship to study viola at the National Regional Conservatory of Angers (France) graduating with a DEM in viola and chamber music. He is the lead musician and founder of the Dal’Ouna Ensemble and musical director, composer and arranger for the Palestine National Arab Music Ensemble. In 2005 Ramzi established the Al Kamandjâti Association with the mission to bring music education to Palestinian children and, in particular, those residing in the refugee camps. Al Kamandjâti provides music instruction to more than 500 children every year from the refugee camps of Al Amari, Jalazon, Tulkarm, and Qalandia, the village of Deir Ghassana, and the cities of Ramallah, Jenin, Gaza City, and Hebron in Palestine. In Lebanon, Al Kamandjâti runs music education programs in the Bourj el Barajneh and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut.
Lena Seikaly, originally from Falls Church, Virginia completed her Bachelors in Classical Vocal Performance at the University of Maryland School of Music. In 2009, she was a participant at the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., where she studied closely with jazz giants Curtis Fuller, George Cables and Dr. Nathan Davis. She was also selected as a Strathmore artist-in-residence for the 2009-2010 season at the renowned Strathmore Music Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Today, Seikaly is an established recording artist and vocalist, who has performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival (The Netherlands), the Jazz Ascona Festival (Switzerland), the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee (CA). She was a participant at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass program directed by Christian McBride. As a commissioned composer and arranger, Seikaly has written classical, jazz and bossa nova arrangements for jazz ensembles, choirs and chamber orchestras. She also works as a private instructor in jazz and classical voice, and has led various educational jazz vocal workshops at the Strathmore Music Center.Tareq Rantisi
began playing Middle-Eastern percussion at the age of 12, and by 2008, would receive an AM Qattan Foundation Music Scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in the United States, where he graduated with honors in Percussion Performance. He has since performed with Paul Winter, Simon Shaheen, Aaron Goldberg, Srinivas Krishnan, Victor Mendoza, Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, Bruno Råberg, Javier Limón, Pepe de Lucía, and Glen Velez, amongst others. In parallel with his life as a performer, Rantisi has developed a body of educational work, offering master classes, workshops and private lessons in collaboration with the Arabic Music Retreat, Brandeis University, The Center for Arabic Culture, The Gaza Music School, AM Qattan Foundation, Al Kamandjâti Association, Kufiyyeh Center of Music, and the Yamaha Music School.
Ziad Ben Youssef's passion for the 'oud began in his native Tunisia, encouraged by local masters who introduced him to the world of Eastern maqam, the foundation of oriental music with roots in Egyptian, Iraqi, Turkish, and Armenian traditions. His musical path was forged with the Bashir Brothers, Ali Sriti, Farid Ghosn, Anouar Brahem, Saliha, Manolo Sanlucar, and Sabicas, amongst others. Ben Youssef explores diverse musical traditions, including Flamenco, Eastern European, jazz and other forms of contemporary music. He has participated in numerous theatrical projects such as "The Thousand and One Nights" with English director Tim Supple, in addition to poetry performances and film soundtracks, including “Happiness” (Alexander Medvidkine), “Kedaba” (ElHachmia Didi Alaoui), “ADN, Ame de la terre” (Thierry Obadia), and "Tomb of the Lovers" performed live at the Louvre Auditorium.
Edwin Buger is a renowned accordionist and multi-instrumentalist from Yugoslavia. In his late teens, Edwin played in the rock band Sauerkirsch and soon thereafter took up the saxophone and performed in the French Legion marching band for five years before attending the military conservatory in Versailles. He later moved to Bordeaux where he was introduced to the music of Madagascar and Martinique, French gypsy jazz, and a broad range of Arab and African traditions. He released his first jazz album in 2010 featuring Ziad Ben Youssef on 'oud and Thierry Lujan on guitar.
Alwan's music program is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.