Musical Performance: George Ziadeh - An Evening of Tarab: Adwaar, Muwashshahat & Umm Kulthoum - Back By Popular Demand!

Sun, May 9, 2010 7:30 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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George Ziadeh - Vocals and Oud


Tareq Abboushi - Buzuq and Vocals
Sami Abu Shumays - Violin
Amir ElSaffar - Santoor and Vocals
Zafer Tawil - Oud, Percussion and Vocals
Faisal Zedan - Percussion and Vocals

In a follow-up to his outstanding March concert, singer and oudist George Ziadeh returns with his ensemble, performing more timeless music from the golden ages of Arab music, including Andalusian muwashshahat, Egyptian Adwaar, and the beloved songs of Umm Kulthoum.

Tickets: $15 available at the door or online here.
(A small service charge applies - use printout as your ticket.)

Doors open at 7:00 p.m.

About the Musicians

George Ziadeh was born and raised in Birzeit, Palestine, and pursued music from a young age. In 1986 he moved to the United States, where he studied ‘oud with Simon Shaheen and classical singing and voice with Youssef Kassab, with whom he has toured extensively across the country. George has performed and lectured with such ensembles and institutions as the University of Chicago’s Middle East Music Ensemble with Issa Boulos, the University of Colorado (Boulder), Alwan for the Arts, the United Nations (invited by Kofi Annan), and annually at the Columbia University Department of Ethnomusicology. In 2008, George was a featured solo and ensemble performer in the “Brooklyn Maqam” Festival of Arab Music. From 1995 to 1997 George taught at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Ramallah and at Birzeit University. George is considered an authority in maqam and Arab classical repertoire.

Tareq Abboushi is a multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, and graduate with honors from William Paterson University with a degree in Jazz Piano. Born and raised in Ramallah, he has played buzuq since 1997, and has performed with such notable musicians as Simon Shaheen, Omar Farouk Tekbilek, and Dan Zanes. His film work includes the award-winning Encounter Point (Best Musical Score, Bend Film Festival, 2006), as well as two films by Jonathan Demme: Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains and Rachel Getting Married. He has lectured and performed at Columbia University, NYU, Juilliard, Museum of the City of NY, the Children’s Museums of Brooklyn and Manhattan, and Alwan for the Arts, and last year taught Arab music at Agder University in Norway. His discography includes One with his band SHUSMO, Amir ElSaffar's Two Rivers and Dan Zanes’s Parades and Panoramas, House Party and Night Time!, winner of’s Best Children's CD (2002). Current projects include a new recording, Mumtastic, with SHUSMO.

Arabic violinist Sami Abu Shumays was born in the United States of mixed Palestinian and American descent, but returned to the Arab world to develop a richer connection with his cultural heritage. Originally a composer and scholar of Western Classical music, he began studying Arabic violin with renowned Arabic violinist and oud player Simon Shaheen in New York, where he concurrently pursued graduate studies in composition and ethnomusicology at C.U.N.Y. after receiving his B.A. in Music from Harvard. Seeking a deeper immersion in Arab musical culture, Sami studied in Cairo, Egypt on a Fulbright fellowship, with Dr. Alfred Gamil, and continued his studies in Aleppo, Syria, with Mohammed Qasas, Abdel-Basit Bakkar, and Abdel-Minaim Senkary–experiences that led him to devote himself to Arabic music. Since then, Sami has been performing and teaching Arabic Violin and Arabic music theory (maqam) across the United States, and is the founder of Zikrayat, an ensemble devoted to presenting the classical, dance and folkloric repertories of the Arab world.

Iraqi-American Amir ElSaffar is an accomplished jazz trumpeter, Iraqi maqam singer, santour player, and composer who has collaborated with a variety of artists, including Cecil Taylor, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Danilo Perez, and Daniel Barenboim. In 2002, ElSaffar put his New York career on hold to immerse himself in the music of his father 's homeland, the Iraqi maqam. He went on a tremendous quest, traveling to Iraq and throughout the Middle East and Europe in urgent pursuit of masters who could impart to him this centuries-old oral tradition. He quickly became versed in maqam, learning to play the santour (Iraqi hammered dulcimer) and to sing, and created new techniques for the trumpet that enable Arabic microtones and ornaments to be played in the rarest of fashion on this instrument. His acclaimed 2007 release, Two Rivers (Pi Recordings), is a genre bending, emotionally charged work that invokes ancient Iraqi musical traditions and frames them in a modern jazz setting. His 2010 release, “Radif Suite,” is a collaboration with Iranian-American saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh that has received significant attention for the extensive use of microtonal harmonies and melodies based on Middle Eastern modal systems.

Zafer Tawil is a virtuoso on ‘oud, violin, and qanun, and a master of Arabic 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 is composing and performing for Demme’s next film project, Zeitoun, based on Dave Eggers’ book about Abdulrahman Zeitoun’s post-Hurricane Katrina odyssey. Zafer has worked on many collaboration concerts involving classical Indian and Persian music as well as Arab/jazz fusion. He has held workshops on Arab music at many institutions and universities across the United States. A native of East Jerusalem, he resides in New York City.

Faisel Zedan was born in 1972 in Oum D’Baib, Syria and developed a passion for the derbakki at an early age. 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. Upon arriving in California in 1992, he met UCLA’s noted professor of ethnomusicology, Dr. Ali Jihad Racy, and was invited to join the acclaimed UCLA Near East Music Ensemble. He is also a founding member of the Near East music group Kan Zaman as well as Youm It Talaata along with Donovan Lerman. Currently, Faisal is a member of Eliyahu & Qadim, Stellamara, Kan Zaman and ASWAT in addition to Zikrayat.

Last updated: 2010-05-03 17:47:27

George Ziadeh
George Ziadeh

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