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Arab Music Ensemble

The Arab Music Ensemble’s three main contrasting shows of the season present diverse programs of classic and contemporary music and dance. Focusing on the Eastern Mediterranean and extending to historically interconnected cultures of the larger region, the concerts feature instrumental and vocal repertoire both composed and improvised. Tracing from the Middle Ages to the present, the selections include some of the oldest continuously performed art music in the world and the most popular pieces in the repertoire. Critically acclaimed guest artists enhance the performances with their expertise, and beautifully costumed dancers put the songs and music into exciting and graceful motion.


Arab Music Ensemble performersCal Poly Arab Music Ensemble Winter Concert

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015
8 p.m., Harman Hall, Performing Arts Center

The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble will be joined by nationally renowned guest artists in a performance of diverse music and dance.

The concert, featuring music from the Eastern Mediterranean and larger region, will include some of the most celebrated instrumental, vocal and poetic repertoire from the Ottoman era to the present.

Highlights will be works by artists such as Ismail Haqqi Bey of Turkey, Riyad Al-Sunbati of Egypt, and Fairuz, the Rahbani Brothers, Ziad Rahbani, and Marcel Khalife of Lebanon.

The show will begin with a musical suite featuring classical Ottoman-based genres alternating with instrumental improvisations. Closing the first half of the show will be contrasting upbeat songs culminating in a Turko-Arabic dance. The acts during the second half will range from a duo performance and additional solo improvisations to the full ensemble leading a dabke or Levantine line dance.

Critically acclaimed guest artists will include Egyptian violinist Adel Eskander Guirguis, Assyrian qanun player Ishmael, Lebanese accordionist Elias Lammam, and Syrian percussionist Faisal Zedan.

The Arab Music Ensemble is comprised of Cal Poly students and San Luis Obispo community members. San Luis Obispo dance directors Saundra Sarrouf and Jenna Mitchell will lead their troupe in folkdances. Cal Poly music professor, composer and performer Ken Habib will direct the 35-member Arab Music Ensemble.

Tickets ( $12 and 14 general, $9 and $12 seniors and students)




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Arab Music Ensemble musicians and dancers

Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble Spring Concert

Saturday, May 23, 2015
8 p.m., Spanos Theatre

Tickets ( $12 general, $9 seniors and students)




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