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Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble Spring Concert

Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble Spring Concert

Date(s) - 06/01/2024
7:30 pm

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Harold Miossi Hall at Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center


12-22 USD
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California Polytechnic Music Department


The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble will present selections of classic repertoire from Arab art, popular and folk music traditions and from historically interconnected cultures of Southwest Asia and North Africa. The group will feature a choir, orchestra and soloists with instruments that include the oud, qanun, nay, accordion, violin, viola, cello, double bass, riqq, daff, darabukka, and more.

The programs will feature critically acclaimed guest artists whose performance skills and professional stature deepen the aesthetic and educational experience of ensemble and audience members alike. The Arab Music Ensemble Dance Troupe will add further artistic dimension to the shows through its presentations of celebrated dance traditions, original choreographies and beautiful costuming.

The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble will give its spring concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1, in the Performing Arts Center.

“This show will continue the exploration of additive and especially long metric modes that have become a concert theme this academic year,” said Arab Music Ensemble Director Ken Habib. “In terms of the organization of time that is inherent to music making and often involves patterns of two or three beats, the pieces on this program will feature 10, 13 and as many as 24 beats per measure.”

These works and others celebrated across Arab society will combine in a musical suite to begin the show. Folk, art and immensely popular songs from Egypt, Greece, Iraq and Romania will also be on the program.
The Arab Music Ensemble Dance Troupe will join the musicians for two songs, one by Farid al-Atrash, the Syrian-Egyptian composer, singer and oud virtuoso, and the other a tour de force by the famed Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi.

Rafid Yalda, an Iraqi-American musician, educator and master performer of the nay (reed flute) from Baghdad, will be one of the guest artists on the program. Ishmael, a renowned qanun (zither) player of Assyrian heritage, and Fathi Aljarrah, a master kamanja (violin) player and multi-instrumentalist who hails from Aleppo, Syria, will return to the stage with the ensemble.

Other composers, poets and artists that will be represented in the works performed include Abd al-Qadir al-Maraghi, Manos Hatzidakis, Morsi Gamil Aziz, Nikos Gatsos, Sayyid Darwish and Tatyos Efendi.

The Arab Music Ensemble is an orchestra and choir with vocal and instrumental soloists. Its membership represents a range of majors on campus and professions off campus. The dance troupe, directed by San Luis Obispo dance director Jenna Mitchell, has collaborated with the Arab Music Ensemble since its formation in 2006.

Tickets ($15 and $20 general, $10 students)

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