Time: March 23, 2012 from 7pm to 9pm
Location: Proshanky Auditorium, CUNY Graduate Center
Street: 365 Fifth Avenue, between 34th and 35th.
City/Town: New York, NY
Website or Map: http://alwanforthearts.org/ev…
Phone: (646) 732 3261
Event Type: musical, concert
Organized By: Alwan for the Arts
Latest Activity: Mar 6, 2012
Tunisian Vocalist Sonia M'Barek in a Concert of Andalusian music, with Al-Bustan resident takht ensemble, led by Music Director Hanna Khoury
Hanna Khoury- violin
Kinan Idnawi- oud
Kinan Abou-afach- cello
Hicham Chami- qanun
Hafez El Ali Kotain- percussion
Tunisian vocalist Sonia M’Barek can sing a centuries-old song from Andalusia, and just as nimbly reframe the words of radical 20th-century poets. She hears the ties of mode and rhythm linking Tunisia’s prized classical traditions, Egyptian cabaret music, and Ottoman court pieces, evoking the diverse musical variations around the Mediterranean with a sultry, supple voice.
Defying tradition while savoring it, M’Barek dug deep into the history and musical potential of ma'luf, Tunisia’s music heritage with roots in the Arab culture of southern Spain. With a unique approach to her nation’s music, M’Barek will perform at the CUNY Graduate Center (365 Fifth Avenue, between 34th and 35th in Manhattan) on March 23, 2012, in a concert sponsored by Alwan for the Arts, New York’s Arabic culture hub.
Though M’Barek has performed with notable Arab and other musicians in New York in recent years, this will be a rare opportunity to hear her unfolding the repertoire that has brought her unflagging respect throughout the Arab world and on European stages. She will be supported by a quintet of master players with strong backgrounds in both Arab and Western Classical music, musicians able to match M’Barek’s own trademark versatility and flair. Listen to samples of her perform here, here, and here.
The young M’Barek began her education at the Tunis Conservatory at eight years old, and her performing career at nine. At the Conservatory, she first encountered ma'luf, a style of music with roots in Al-Andalus, the medieval Muslim state the once dominated much of Southwestern Europe that allowed the cross-pollination of European, Arab, and Jewish culture. After the Spanish Re-conquest in 1492, Muslims and Jews fled across the Mediterranean, planting the seeds for a new flourishing music across North Africa. In what is now Tunisia, the music evolved over centuries and under diverse influences into a body of classical works.
Yet M’Barek is not simply an innovator of one tradition; she is a broad thinker, able to clue into and emphasize the shared sonic and poetic ties that bind musical forms from Tunisia and Spain to Turkey and Egypt. Elements of popular cabaret forms, like raqs sharqi (so-called “belly dance” music), and moments from Turkish classical music weave together in M’Barek’s work, and 10th-century Arabic poetry might follow songs with words by Spanish great Lorca or Turkish romantic socialist poet, Nâzım Hikmet (known in the West for poems like “I Come and Stand at Every Door”).
M’Barek will be joined on March 23 by violinist Hanna Khoury (a Pew Fellow who’s played with Fairuz, Youssou N’Dour, and Mandy Patinkin); percussionist Hafez El Ali Kotain (fluent in Arab and Latin rhythms); master cellist and oud player Kinan Abou-afach; Kinan Idnawi (an oud player for both Marcel Khalife and the Qatar Philharmonic); and Hicham Chami (a skilledqanun player and music scholar who founded the Arabesque Music Ensemble).