Musical Performance: Najib Bahri's El Amal - A Tribute to Tunisia

Sat, May 14, 2011 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

(View all musical performances »)

with Master Percussionist

Najib Bahri -
Darbouka, Bendir, Riqq


Hanna Madbak -
Irina Kom -
Karla G. Garcia -

Najib Bahri
’s ensemble El Amal (Arabic for "Hope"), performs a wide range of classical and contemporary North African and Middle Eastern music styles, encompassing a
unique world-beat fusion expression while remaining rooted in his ethnic art form.

Watch Nahib perform here.

About Najib Bahri:

Najib Bahri
is a composer, performer and an educator of North African and Middle Eastern rhythms and music folklore. Born in Tunisia, Najib Bahri is an expert in these rhythms, and a master percussionist on the Darbouka (goblet drum), Bendir (frame drum), and Riq (Arabic tambourine) in the Maghrebi, Mashriqi and Khaligi classical and folk styles.

Najib began performing at age eight with his father and uncles in theatres and for the Tunisian national television. At age sixteen, he attended the Tunisian National Conservatory of Music. While finishing his education in France, Najib performed in Parisian nightclubs and other venues. Over the years, he collaborated with and accompanied some of the most prestigious musicians of the Arab world, including Egyptian violinist Aboud Abdel Al, Lebanese singer and composer Wadi'h Essafi, Lebanese composer George Yazbek, Egyptian cellist Mahmoud Ramzi, Tunisian conductor of Al-Rashidiya Ben Heljia, former music director of Tunisian television ensemble, composer and master oud player Ali Sriti, and Egyptian violinist Ahmed Hafnawi.

As an educator, Najib adopts a holistic teaching style that incorporates breathing, singing, and moving while playing percussion. Najib’s artistry also extends to building specialized Arabic percussion instruments, such as the clay darbouka with a stingray drumheads – his instrument of choice for playing and teaching. Some of the professional percussionists who have studied Najib's unique percussive style include George Lawler (Squishy/Frequency Lab/Sound Continuum Studios – U.S.), Neill Porteous (Family of Souls – U.S.), Susu Pampnin (Susu & the Cairo Cats – U.S.), and Bassem Yazbek (Lebanon).

Hanna Madbak is a guitarist, composer and producer of world-beat music. While he was trained as a traditional Flamenco guitarist by Mariano Cordoba, Hanna’s guitar and music composition style has evolved to a musical expression at the intersection of many musical genres and cultures. Hanna was born and raised in Lebanon, but lived the last two decades in Europe and the United States. Mirroring his life, Hanna's music stems from a globalized and multicultural perspective.Hanna's musical compositions are difficult to classify by design, because they aim to merge multiple musical genres, including Flamenco, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Techno, Dance, and Middle-Eastern rhythms, with particular focus on highlighting the Arabic influence on Flamenco. This is expressed in many of his compositions that combine Flamenco guitar with Arabic singing and traditional Middle Eastern beats. As a firm believer in music as an international language of peace, Hanna is committed to promoting World-Beat fusion as a means of fostering cross-cultural understanding and harmony.

Irina Kom is a belly dancer strongly influenced by tribal fusion style. She grew up in Russia, traveled in various parts of the world, and now lives and dances in NYC. Over the years, her dance evolved, pushing the boundaries of a particular style into the open space of dance as an art form. Several years ago, she discovered Suhaila Salimpour format and has been a dedicated student of Suhaila ever since. She holds Level II Certification in the format and continues to deepen her practice in dance. Irina's style of tribal fusion is best described by the term “lyrical tribal.” Inspired by many forms of artistic expression, Irina is in constant pursuit of experiences that enrich her practice, performance, and teaching of dance. In the past several years, she traveled to Russia and Ukraine, bringing tribal fusion belly dance style to those parts of the world. Irina performs as a soloist and in collaboration with other dancers. She is a member of Alchemy Dance Theater (NYC) and an alumni-member of Fire in the Belly Dance Company (Charlottesville, VA). Irina teaches regular belly dance classes at Sol Dance Center in NY.

Karla G.Garcia
is an accomplished and versatile dancer trained in a variety of dance forms, from ballet to salsa and beyond. She was born in Mexico where she began her ballet training at the age of five. There, she performed with Compania Juvenil Frank (RAD) contemporary and modern pieces including the ballet classics, jazz, modern dance, and musical theatre. Karla started teaching at the age of 15 and developed a strong passion for teaching and choreography. She continued her training at the Ema Pulido studios in Mexico City where she was immediately invited to join the dance company San Juan De Letran. She performed in numerous theaters in an authentic romantic style with Latin flavor and began discovering other dance forms like Salsa, Tango, Ballroom and more. At the age of 20, she moved New York where she continued her training at Alvin Ailey Dance School, Broadway Dance Center and also with Mr. Eddie Torres as a complement of her certification as a Ballroom dance teacher. Currently, she teaches full time at Sol Dance Center in NY and performs as a soloist as well as in collaboration with other dancers of various styles and forms of movement.


Regular: $20, available online here
Student/Senior/Member: $15, available online here.

A small surcharge is applied to each online ticket; use printout as your proof of purchase. Tickets are also available at the door. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

Last updated: 2011-04-30 01:02:54

Najib Bahri
Najib Bahri
Hanna Madbak
Hanna Madbak
Irina Kom
Irina Kom
Karla G. Garcia
Karla G. Garcia

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