Special Event: Fifth Annual Maqam Fest

Fri, January 15, 2016 7:30 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Alwan for the Arts and the Center for Traditional Music and Dance present Maqam Fest 2016, featuring six ensembles performing the language of maqam in varied musical styles.

4th Floor
Dolunay: 7:45 pm -8:30 pm
Tareq Abboushi's Shusmo Reunion: 8:45 pm - 9:30 pm
Crimean Tatar Ensemble: 9:45 pm -10:30 pm

6th Floor
Newpoli: 8:00 pm - 8:45 pm
Abdoulaye Diabate: 9:00 pm -9:45 pm
Kiran Ahluwalia: 10:00 pm -10:45 pm

BUY TICKETS NOW (A small online fee is applied)

Tickets $30 General Admission, $25 for Students, Seniors and Members. Please bring and use printout as your ticket.

Doors Open at 7:00 pm

Free for APAP badge holders with RSVP to Kaisha Johnson at


Abdoulaye Diabate and Super Manden

Abdoulaye Diabate, known as the “African Troubador”, leads Super Manden, an extraordinary group of master musicians. Originally from Mali, Diabate was raised in the heart of the Mande jali (griot) tradition. A jali is an oral historian, musician and storyteller from the Mandinka culture of West Africa. For centuries, jalilu served as important figures in the courts and great houses of the Empire of Mali.

Hailing from a long line of traditional musicians, Diabate has spent over thirty years performing contemporary and popular music. Diabate moved to Cote D'Ivoire in 1975 where he formed Super Manden, a twelve-piece band featuring some of the greatest luminaries of West African music, such as Salif Keita and Mory Kante. In the mid-1990s, Diabate settled in New York City where he began collaborating with musicians like Don Byron, Peter Appelbaum and guitarist Banning Eyre. With his wide influences, passionate voice and deep connection to jali style, Abdoulaye Diabate updates the richness of an old tradition with modern inflections, felt particularly in Super Manden's traditional instrumentation.

Super Manden features Abdoulaye Diabate (vocals and guitar); Toumani Diabate (balafon, the Malian xylophone); Yacouba Sissoko (kora, a West-African stringed harp-lute made from a gourd); Aboubacar Diabate (djembe, a goblet shaped hand drum); and Sylvain Leroux (flute).

Tareq Abboushi and Shusmo

Fusing sounds and rhythms rooted in Afro-Cuban, western classical, jazz, funk, gypsy and Arabic music, Tareq Abboushi, multi-instrumentalist musician, composer and founder of Shusmo brings new and exciting definition to the international music genre. For more than ten years, Shusmo has cultivated a unique identity and created an innovative and original type of music drawing on a wide range of influences, including the maqam. The result is a band that manages to rock out with the unlikely combination of buzz, clarinet, bass and percussion.

For more information, visit here.

Kiran Ahluwalia

At the center of Kiran Ahluwalia’s music is love in all its shades – yearning sensual love and the divine love of Sufi mysticism. At once, she is a modern purveyor of the great vocal traditions of India and Pakistan which she honors intensely yet also departs from in assertive, personal ways. Classically trained but with a strong contemporary edge, she has created a style uniquely her own -- a heady hybrid of Indian grooves, Saharan desert blues with elements of jazz. Over the course of six albums, Kiran has been awarded two Canadian Grammies and the UK’s Songlines award, her latest albumSanata : Stillness recently won her second Canadian Folk Music Award and entered the European World Music charts at number 3.

Kiran is accompanied by Rez Abbasi, one of the Top Ten guitarists in DownBeat’s Critics Poll; hard grooving tabla player Nitin Mitta; superbly melodic accordion player Will Holshouser and the always funky bassist Chris Tarry. Together with her 5-piece group, Kiran creates a truly original sound.
For more information, click hereand listen here.


Turkish for “full moon,” Brooklyn-based Dolunay plays the songs of the people of Turkish descent who lived across Rumeli, the southern Balkan region of the Ottoman Empire. Rumeli has long been famous for its rich ethnic diversity where for centuries Turks, Greeks, Roma (gypsies), Sephardic Jews, Orthodox Slavs, Vlachs, Albanians and other groups have participated in the creation of a multi-cultural society at the crossroads of East and West. Dolunay brings new life to the timeless songs and melodies of this region.

Dolunay features Eylem Basaldi (violin), Adam Goodon (oud and tambura), and Jenny Lunawith (voice and percussion). Dolunay pays tribute to the Ottoman Balkans against the backdrop of history and the sweep of the mountains. Through vibrant renderings of maqam-based melodies, the group creates a unique musical soundscape.
For more information, visit here

New York Crimean Tatar Ensemble

As the only band performing authentic, traditional Crimean Tatar music in the United States, the New York Crimean Tatar Ensemble has roots in both Simferopol, Crimea and Brooklyn. The ensemble was first established in Simferopol in 1990, when Nariman Asanov (violin), Eldar Ibraimov (keyboard), and Aziz Veliev (clarinet) met at the Tchaikovsky Music College. Immigrating to the United states in 1994, they joined a growing Crimean community that now numbers over 5,000 people. It is also where Rustem Faizov (trumpet) and Lennur Mamutov (hand drum) joined Nariman, Elder and Aziz to complete the band. The Ensemble has been playing together since the mid 2000s, with the addition of Patrick Farrell (accordion) in 2010.

A jewel of the United State’s Crimean community, the Ensemble plays an inveterate role in upholding the distinct Crimean Tatar identity and cultural tradition. The band has played at Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Columbia University and the United Nations. They are also a cornerstone of the Crimean Cultural Center in Brooklyn. Alongside performances, the band supports the Center’s junior dance school, which teaches traditional dance and music to the young generation living in New York.
To view and listen, please click here.

Newpoli is a group of exceptionally talented musicians who specialize in Southern Italian Folk Music, mainly from the regions of Campania, Basilicata and Puglia. Newpoli integrates a wide variety of styles such as Tarantella-Pizzica, Tammuriata, Villanella and the Neapolitan Canzone, encompassing music from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. Their music is an exciting journey through time, culture and musical styles.

The South of Italy has a colorful past with influences from Africa, the Middle East and ancient Greece; all of which can be heard in traditional Southern Italian dance music and songs. Guided by their passion for this unique repertoire, Newpoli combines a respect for Italian musical tradition with their own inimitable approach. Founded in 2003, Newpoli is now celebrating twelve years of delighting audiences from Italy to the US and beyond.

Newpoli features Carmen Marsico (vocals), Angela Rossi (vocals), Fabio Pirozzolo (tamburello & vocals), Roberto Cassan (accordion), Bjorn Wennas (chitarra battente and chitarra classica), Jussi Reijonen (oud, mandola and chitarra classica), Daniel Meyers (recorders, percussion), and Jeff Mcauliffe (bass).
To view and listen, click here and here.

Last updated: 2016-01-12 16:03:01

Kiran Ahluwalia
Kiran Ahluwalia
Tareq Abboushi and Shusmo
Tareq Abboushi and Shusmo
Abdoulaye Diabate
Abdoulaye Diabate
Nariman / NY Crimean Tatar Ensemble
Nariman / NY Crimean Tatar Ensemble

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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