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Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble to Perform with Guest Artists Nov. 5

The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble and guest artists will perform a program of music and dance from the Eastern Mediterranean and larger region at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, in Harman Hall in the Performing Arts Center on campus.

The concert will feature some of the region’s most celebrated instrumental, vocal and poetic repertoire composed and performed by such artists as Ibn Al-Khatib from medieval Spain; Ibrahim Al-Aryan, Karem Mahmoud, and Mohamed Abdel Wahab from Egypt; and Marcel Khalife from Lebanon.

The show will also include traditional and contemporary genres such as the muwashshah, one of the oldest continuously performed art-music genres in the world. Additional genres to be performed 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 is a multi-instrumental orchestra and choir with vocal and instrumental soloists. The concert will also include an extended performance by a “takht” or chamber ensemble of advanced students showcasing their abilities to work in the more independent setting of a small group.

Critically acclaimed guest artists joining the ensemble from the San Francisco and Sacramento areas will include Ishmael on qanun, Fathi Aljarrah on violin, and Faisal Zedan on percussion.

Also, San Luis Obispo choreographer Jenna Mitchell will lead a dance troupe to a popular Egyptian song.

Cal Poly Professor Ken Habib, a composer, performer and scholar in the field of ethnomusicology, will direct the show.

Tickets are $12 and $14 for the public and $9 and $12 for students. Prices include all Performing Arts Center fees, and event parking is sponsored by the PAC. Tickets are sold at the Cal Poly Ticket Office between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To order by phone, call SLO-4TIX (756-4849).

A 10 percent discount is given to patrons who buy season tickets to four Music Department events through the Cal Poly Ticket Office; a 15 percent discount is given on tickets to five or more events.

The concert is sponsored by Cal Poly's College of Liberal Arts, Music Department, and Instructionally Related Activities program. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-756-2406 or visit the department's calendar website.