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Arab Music Ensemble

Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble Spring Concert

Saturday, May 28, 2016
8 p.m., Spanos Theatre

The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble and guest artists will perform a diverse program of music and dance from the Eastern Mediterranean and larger region.

The concert will feature some of the region’s most celebrated instrumental, vocal and poetic repertoire composed and performed by artists such as Dahmane El-Harrachi and Rachid Taha from Algeria; Mohamed Abdel-Wahab and Sayyid Darwish from Egypt; Fairuz, Philemon Wehbe, and the Rahbani Brothers from Lebanon; and Tatyos Efendi from Ottoman Turkey.

The show will feature several kinds of traditional and contemporary art music, including the "muwashshah," one of the oldest continuously performed art music genres in the world.

Additional genres to be featured come from the shared music traditions of the Ottoman era, including the short introductory "dulab" and the more elaborate "samai" with its 10-beat metric mode.

The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble consists of a multi-instrumental orchestra and choir with vocal and instrumental soloists. The concert also will include "takht" or chamber ensemble performances showcasing the ability of members to work in the advanced setting of a small group.

Critically acclaimed guest artists will include Egyptian violinist Adel Eskander from the Los Angeles area, Assyrian qanun player Ishmael from Sacramento Valley, and Syrian percussionist Faisal Zedan from the Bay Area.

The program also will feature choreographies by San Luis Obispo dance directors Jenna Mitchell and Saundra Sarrouf. Cal Poly Music Department ethnomusicologist Ken Habib — composer, performer and scholar — will direct the 25-member ensemble, and the program will include one of his instrumental compositions.

Tickets ($14 general, $9 students)



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