Musical Performance: Kinan Azmeh's CityBand

Fri, March 26, 2010 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

(View all musical performances »)


Kinan Azmeh
, Clarinet, Composition
Kyle Sanna, Guitar
John Hadfield, Percussion
Josh Myers, Bass

Formed in 2006 in New York City, Kinan Azmeh’s CityBand immediately gained recognition for their virtuosic and high energy performances, receiving praise from such sources as the New York Times' Vivien Schweitzer, who deemed the segment, "the highlight of the evening." Azmeh's impressive resume includes performances in Paris, London, Berlin, New York, Moscow, and Damascus, both as a soloist and composer. With this New York ensemble, he strives to reach a balance between classical music, jazz, and the music of his homeland, Syria. Azmeh's expressive clarinet meets Kyle Sanna's rustic guitar, soaring at times over the dynamic and volatile backdrop of John Hadfield's percussion and Josh Myers' double bass. The band members' varied backgrounds add their personal flair to this ensemble, resulting in a thoroughly exciting and rewarding listening experience.

Tickets: $15, available at the door or online here. (A surcharge applies, use printout as your ticket)

Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

Listen to Kinan Azmeh's CityBand here.

About the musicians:

Hailed as a “virtuoso” by the New York Times, "unique sound” by the Daily Star and “engagingly flamboyant” by the L.A. Times, Kinan Azmeh is one of Syria’s rising stars. His utterly distinctive sound is now fast gaining international recognition. Born in Damascus, Kinan was the first Arab to win the premier prize at the 1997 Nicolai Rubinstein International Competition, Moscow. A graduate of New York's Juilliard school, and of both the High institute of Music and Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering, Kinan is currently a doctoral music student of Charles Neidich at the City University of New York.

Kinan has appeared worldwide as a soloist and composer. Notable appearances include: Opera Bastille, Paris; Tchaikovsky Grand Hall, Moscow; Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, New York; the Royal Albert hall, London; Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires; der Philharmonie; Berlin; the Kennedy Center, Washington DC; and the opening concert of the Damascus Opera House. He has appeared as soloist with orchestras such as the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, The Bavarian Radio Orchestra and The Kiev Kamerata under such reputed conductors as Solhi al-Wadi and Daniel Barenboim. He has shared the stage with Marcel Khalife, Francois Rabbath, Mari Kimura, Elliott Sharp, Katia Tchemberdji, Kani Karaca and members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. His compositions include several works for solo, orchestra, and chamber music; film, live illustration, and electronics, his multimedia work “Gilgamesh” with visual Artist Kevork Mourad has been touring the US and the middle east since 2006. His recordings include three albums with his ensemble HEWAR, a duo album with Sri lankan-Canadian pianist Dinuk Wijertatne and several soundtracks for film and dance. He serves on the advisory board of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra, and is artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Music Ensemble, with whom he released an album of new music written especially for the ensemble by various Arab composers.

Kyle Sanna has performed his original music in Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and throughout the U.S. As a composer, Kyle most often scores the visual and narrative arts, especially film, theater, and dance. He was a 2003 Finalist in the Young Film Composers Competition and his latest film score (for the indie documentary Finding the Bottom of the Sky) will see its premiere screening in June, 2008. Commissions in the past year include music for a theatrical production of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, orchestral arrangements for Nonesuch recording artist Christina Courtin, string arrangements for Rolling Stones' “guitar god” Kaki King, a Meet The Composer Grant for the ensemble Capital M, and two pieces for choreographer Fabrice Lamego: one for the Ailey School of Dance and one based on Borges’ The Zahir, which premiered in Guadaloupe in April, 2008. A concert version premiered in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall featuring mandolin master, Mike Marshall.

Percussionist John Hadfield’s dedication to bending genres has taken him from the jungles of Indonesia to concert halls and clubs across the world. This diversity has allowed him to perform with a broad variety of ensembles including Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road ensemble, The Saturday Night Live Band on NBC, Bang on a Can, The Michael Gordon Band, The rock bands Amandla and Capital M, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, The Bassam Saba Ensemble, Ethos Percussion Group and the NYC gamelan group Darma Swara. While performing with jazz groups John has worked alongside Kenney Werner, Lenny Pickett, Bobby Watson, Ben Monder, Satoshi Takeshi, Brad Shepik, Mike Richmond and Eric Friedlander. Currently, John lives in NYC and is on Jazz faculty of New York University.

Josh Myers is an acoustic and electric bassist, composer, leader of BIG WORDS and the Josh Myers Quintet, and cofounder of Smoothe Moose Laboratories and Recordings, a Brooklyn-based artist collective and record label. Myers has quickly cultivated a reputation for his original approach to his instrument and to composition – a philosophy that blends traditional and modern styles with an open ear and an open mind, allowing him to play as a sideman in several groups of various genres and still maintain a personal sound on the bass. He has collaborated with Kenny Werner, Wayne Krantz, Gerald Cleaver, Ben Monder, and Andrew D’Angelo, among many other fantastic musicians.

Last updated: 2010-03-09 02:29:27

Kinan Azmeh City Band
Kinan Azmeh City Band

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