April 23, 2015

Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble to Perform May 23

SAN LUIS OBISPO — 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 at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 23, in the Spanos Theatre on campus.

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 are $12 for the public and $9 for seniors and students. Pricing includes all Performing Arts Center fees, and event parking is sponsored by the PAC. Buy tickets at the Cal Poly Ticket Office from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday 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 Performing Arts 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.

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