Musical Performance: An Evening of Zajal & Music

Sat, February 11, 2006 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Alwan for The Arts

Invites you

Saturday, February 11, 2006, 9:00 PM


An Evening of Zajal & Music

With poets

George El-Hage Yousuf Abdel Samad

and Music by


Zajal is Arab rap. A form of colloquial poetry which developed in 9th century Al-Andalus, Zajal still has a following in palestine, lebanon, Syria and North Africa. This improvised form of poetry often pits two poets against each other over a theme. Zajal and music have been connected since the beginning, and often the poets sing their lines with a tambourine as their main instrument.

George El-Hage is a published poet in both classical and colloquial arabic. Many of his poems have been translated and published in English. He has given numerous readings in Lebanon and the US and has written extensively on the origin of Zajal. His Arabic poetry collections include the following titles: Undated Poems Engagement and Encounter If You Were Mine Exile and the Seasons of Darkness The Return of the Hero and the Resurrection of the City.

Yousuf Abdel Samad is a well established poet in classical and colloquial arabic. He is well known in both Lebanon and the US and has a notable presence on the literary scene in New York City. He has published a number of poetry collections. His latest volume: As-Sayf wal-Sawsan appeared in Dec. 2004. Yousuf has been instrumental in reviving Al-Rabita Al-Qalamiyya, League of Writers, in the US.

Tarab The Tarab Collective is a group 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. The Collective 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. The ensemble is keen on using instruments that are not traditionally part of the classical Arabic lineup, such as the buzuq.

Tareq Abboushi Buzuq Taoufiq Ben Amor Vocals, Oud, Percussion Ramzi El-Edlibi Percussion Gaida Hinnawi Vocals Zafer Tawil Violin, Oud

Last updated: 2007-09-21 10:08:37

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