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Arab Music Ensemble

Featuring diverse programs of classic and contemporary music and dance, the Arab Music Ensemble will give three main contrasting shows during the concert season. While focusing on the Eastern Mediterranean, the programs will also feature selections from historically interconnected cultures of the larger region.

The instrumental and vocal repertoire will include a variety of composed and improvisational genres that stem from the Middle Ages to the present. Also on the programs will be examples from among the oldest continuously performed art-music genres in the world and the most popular songs in the region.

Critically acclaimed guest artists will join the students in the ensemble, bringing their professional skill and virtuosity to the performances and to the educational experience. Colorfully costumed dancers will also join the ensemble to put a variety of selections into graceful motion.

Arab Music EnsembleCal Poly Arab Music Ensemble Winter Concert

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018
8 p.m., Harman Hall, Performing Arts Center

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

With a membership that represents a wide range of majors on campus and professions off campus, the Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble is a multi-instrumental orchestra and choir with vocal and instrumental soloists.

San Luis Obispo dance director Jenna Mitchell will lead the dance troupe in exciting choreographies that dialogue with the music. Cal Poly Music Professor Ken Habib, a composer, performer and ethnomusicologist, will direct the show.

Critically acclaimed guest artists specializing in the performance practices of the music cultures being featured will join the ensemble from the San Francisco and Sacramento areas, and include Ishmael on qanun (trapezoidal zither), Fathi Aljarrah on kamanja (violin), Hector Bezanis on nay (reed flute) and mizmar (shawm) and Faisal Zedan on riqq (tambourine), daff (frame drum) and darabukka (goblet drum).

Works to be performed include some of the most celebrated repertoire of the region by composers, performers and poets including Abdelhadi Belkhayat, Abdelkader Wahbi and Ali Haddani of Morocco; Sayyid Darwish, Yunis Al-Qadi and Fathi Qura of Egypt; and Fairuz, the Rahbani Brothers, Philemon Wehbe and Ziad Rahbani of Lebanon.

The show will include contemporary works and traditional genres, such as the muwashshah, one of the oldest continuously performed art-music genres in the world, which in this case features an 11-beat metric mode.

Additional pieces to be performed come from the shared music traditions of the Ottoman era, including the short introductory dulab, the more elaborate samai with its 10-beat metric mode and the 9-beat karshilima that is popular in Turkish and related music and dance.

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

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Arab Music Ensemble musicianCal Poly Arab Music Ensemble Spring Concert

Saturday, May 26, 2018
8 p.m., Spanos Theatre

Tickets ($14 general, $9 students)






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