Musical Performance: Zikrayat, with Special Guest Master Percussionist Faisal Zedan

Fri, October 17, 2008 8:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

(View all musical performances »)

$20 ($15 with valid student ID)
Doors open at 7:30

And featuring:
Salah Rajab — vocals
Dameshe — dance
Sami Abu Shumays — violin & vocals
Dimitri Mikelis — 'oud & accordion
Bridget Robbins — nay


A master percussionist in the Syrian classical tradition, as well as a quintessential dancer’s drummer for Egyptian Raqs Sharqi (Belly-Dance), Syrian-born Faisal Zedan plays Riqq (tambourine), Derbakki (also Tabla—goblet drum), and Tar (frame drum) with equal mastery, offering fellow performers and audiences a dazzling combination of virtuosity, subtlety, power, delicacy, assuredness, and humility. Visiting from California, he joins NYC’s Zikrayat in an eclectic concert presentation of vocal, instrumental, and dance music from the “Golden Age” of Egyptian Cinema, including energetic dance numbers and contemplative classical pieces, as well as original compositions.


Faisal Zedan

Born in 1972 in oum D'Baib, Syria, Faisal Zedan grew up impassioned with the derbakki. At the age of 15, after intensive study with a local drummer, Faisal embarked on a journey of learning through exposure to a wide repertoire of Arabic classical and contemporary music, and since then has become a master of the derbakki as well as the riqq and tar (frame drum).

Upon arriving in California in 1992, he met UCLA's noted professor of ethnomusicology, Dr. Ali Jihad Racy, and was then invited to join the acclaimed UCLA Near East Music Ensemble. In 1993, Faisal co-founded the Near East music group, Kan Zaman. Specializing in the classical singing genre of Muwashahat and Adwar, Kan Zaman has performed at Arabic cultural centers, city-sponsored events, and private shows along the West Coast of the United States.

Along with Donovan Lerman, Faisal is also a founding member of the Los Angeles-based Youm It Talaata percussion group, performing at festivals, cultural events and with local Middle Eastern dancers in Southern California. Since 1996 Faisal has taught at the Middle East Music Camp in Mendocino, California, and has performed and studied annually with its international artists. He also conducts workshops annually at the Kosmos Camp.

Currently Faisal is a member of Eliyahu & Qadim, Stellamara, Ken Zaman and ASWAT.


Zikrayat (”memories”) in Arabic, is a New York based ensemble dedicated to presenting the varied styles of music and dance from Egypt, Lebanon, and the greater Arab World. Zikrayat’s mission is to give an authentic, yet contemporary representation, while highlighting the diversity of Arab culture for mainstream audiences.

Inspired by the “golden age” of Egyptian and Lebanese Cinema (the 1950’s-70’s), Zikrayat presents vibrant stage productions evoking the atmosphere of classic film. Members research films from this period, searching for forgotten gems that no one else performs. Our repertory also includes traditional and standard numbers, as well as original compositions in the style of this period, classical as well as folkloric music.

Last updated: 2008-10-07 10:03:23

Master Percussionist Faisal Zedan
Master Percussionist Faisal Zedan

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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