For Immediate Release
April 26, 2017

Contact: Michele Abba

Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble to Perform with Guest Artists May 27

SAN LUIS OBISPO — 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, May 27, in the Spanos Theatre on campus.

The ensemble will perform works by some of the most celebrated composers, performers and poets of the region, including Sayyid Darwish, Zakariya Ahmad, and Mokhtar Al-Said of Egypt; Fairuz, Philemon Wehbe, and the Rahbani Brothers of Lebanon; and Tatyos Efendi of Turkey.

The show will include traditional and contemporary genres such as the muwashshah, one of the oldest continuously performed art-music genres in the world, which in this case features a 13-beat metric mode.

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 concert will also include a short suite of instrumental and vocal Greek music that includes traditional, popular songs and highlights the historical interconnectedness of the larger region.

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

Critically acclaimed guest artists joining the ensemble from the San Francisco and Sacramento areas will include Faisal Zedan on percussion, Fathi Aljarrah on kamanja (Arabic violin), Hector Bezanis on nay (reed flute) and mizmar (shawm), and Ishmael on qanun (trapezoidal zither).

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

Tickets are $14 for the public and $9 for students. Event parking is sponsored by the Performing Arts Center. 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


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