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.
Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble Spring Concert
Saturday, May 23, 2015
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 most celebrated instrumental, vocal and poetic repertoire composed and performed by artists such as Tatyos Efendi from modern-day Turkey, Fairuz and the Rahbani Brothers from Lebanon, and Farid Al-Atrash from Syria.
The show will feature traditional and contemporary art-music genres, including examples of the muwashshah, one of the oldest continuously performed genres of art music in the world.
The concert will also highlight shared music traditions dating to the Ottoman era, including such genres as the short introductory dulab and the more complex 10-beat samai.
The Arab Music Ensemble comprises a multi-instrumental orchestra and choir of voices working together with vocal and instrumental soloists. Highlighted on this program will also be student chamber ensembles showcasing their ability to work in the relatively demanding setting of a small group.
San Luis Obispo dance director Jenna Mitchell will lead a dance troupe in lively choreographies with the musicians. Closing the program will be a classic dance piece from the golden era of Egyptian cinema.
Critically acclaimed guest artists on the program will include longtime favorites Egyptian violinist Adel Eskander, Assyrian qanun player Ishmael, and Syrian percussionist Faisal Zedan. Cal Poly Music Department ethnomusicologist Ken Habib, a composer, performer and scholar, will direct the 35-member Arab Music Ensemble.
Tickets ( $12 general, $9 seniors and students)