Sacred Music Festival: Concert: Tarab Ensemble

Sat, September 29, 2012 8:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

(View all sacred music festivals »)

Tarab, the intoxication induced by music, is the gate through which the Sufis cross into the world of true being, where they experience God as a whole. Music is used by many mystical traditions as a medium to experience the divine. The communal practice of music through repetitive chanting, rhythmic cycles and dance movements transports the devout into a state of trance where the laws of physics and reason, as we know them, are suspended. This is the moment when the veil of the senses is lifted to reveal a true station of complete being. States, ahwaal, are passing; stations, maqaamaat, remain.

This performance will feature:
Taoufiq Ben Amor - Vocals, Oud and Percussion
Ramzi Edlibi - Tabla, Riq, Daf and Dance
Zafer Tawil - Violin, Oud and Percussion
Johnny Farraj - Percussion

Listen to TARAB perform Ibtihalat

Tickets: $20 General (*buy now) | $15 for Students, Members and Seniors (*buy now) available at the door or online.

(*A small online fee is applied - use printout as your ticket)

Doors open at 7:30 p.m.


About the Musicians:

Founded in 1998, TARAB is an ensemble of New York-based musicians who focus on studying and performing the classical Arabic repertoire, instrumental (with such genres as samai, lunga, dulab) and vocal, with special emphasis on the Andalusi Muwashah and Sufi repertoire. The ensemble also explores traditional folk music from various regions of the Arab world. Importance is given to improvisation, both vocal and instrumental, to allow each musician to explore the maqamat, or scales. The sets performed are generally in the form of a wasla, which is a suite of several pieces all sharing the same maqam. Since its foundation, Tarab has performed at several venues and festivals, such as Symphony Space, The Great Hall at Cooper Union, The Joseph Papp Theater, Bowery Ballroom, The Balkan Music Festival, Club Passim, York University Toronto and The University of Michigan. Tarab also composed soundtracks for two documentaries and one play.

Taoufiq Ben Amor (Vocals, Oud and Percussion)

Taoufiq Ben Amor is a Tunisian vocalist, percussionist and oud player. Taoufiq started learning percussion at an early age, then learned the Malouf (Andalusian repertoire) and sang with ensembles and choirs for many years. Fifteen years ago, he began studying the oud and the Arabic maqam system with various teachers such as Mohamed Labbad, Jamal Aslan and Simon Shaheen. For the last two decades, Taoufiq has been an active performer in the US and Canada and played in various venues including the Joseph Papp Theater, Symphony Space, Cooper Union, the Knitting Factory as well as several campuses. He is involved in several projects including fusion with North Indian, Flamenco and Iranian musicians. Taoufiq is also an educator, who researches and lectures on the subject and conducts workshops. Taoufiq is currently Professor of Arabic at Columbia University.

Ramzi Edlibi (Tabla, Riq, Daf and Dance)

Ramzi El Edlibi began his study of Arab dance and ballet at an early age in his native Lebanon with Mrs. Jarrar and Mr. Caracalla, historic figures in the development of Lebanese dance for the stage. Besides Edlibi’s formal training, social dances and music, such as debkah, were a part of everyday and night life. Edlibi went on to perform dance with the leading vocalists and dance companies of the Arab World such as Feiruz, Sabah, Wadi Al-Safi and Caracalla Dance Theatre. He then traveled abroad to perform and teach, while civil war raged in Lebanon, learning other dance traditions along the way. Since establishing himself in New York, Eldibi has continued his dance career, researching and presenting dances and music of the world.
Edlibi is Artistic Director of Dance Around the World, an Arts in Education program that brings dance and music to public schools.

New York based Palestinian-American Zafer Tawil is a virtuosic performer on the oud, violin, qanun and a full range of Arab percussion instruments. He has performed with numerous musicians ranging from Sting to Arab music greats such as Simone Shaheen, Chab Mami, and Bassam Saba to avant-garde composer/performer Elliot Sharpe, among others. Zafer has composed music for a number of films including the Oscar-nominated Jonathan Demme film Rachel Getting Married.

Johnny Farraj has studied riqq (Egyptian tambourine) and frame drum with Karim Nagi and Fairuz's percussionist Michel Merhej, both featured in Brooklyn Maqam. He also studied oud with Simon Shaheen and Bassam Saba, and classical Arab singing with Rima Khcheich and Youssef Kassab. As a percussionist, he has performed with Simon Shaheen/Qantara and Amir ElSaffar, and attends the Arabic Music Retreat annually.

Last updated: 2012-09-13 14:30:13

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