Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble to Host Iranian and Tajik Guest Artists in March 14 Concert

The Arab Music Ensemble performs at past concerts.
SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble and guest artists will perform a program of Arab, Iranian and Tajik music that includes popular dance from the Eastern Mediterranean at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 14, in Spanos Theatre on campus.

The Arab Music Ensemble is made up of an orchestra and choir that feature 14 instrumentalists and singers, and five dancers. The membership is drawn from a range of majors on campus and professions off campus. The concert will feature the combined efforts of the entire group as well as vocal, instrumental and dance soloists.

The guest artists performing Iranian and Tajik music will include Nasser Sabouri on vocals; Azadeh Nemat Gorgani on piano; Maruf Noyoft on robab (short-necked lute); and Faisal Zedan on riqq (tambourine), daff (frame drum), and darabukka (goblet drum). The director of the ensemble of guest artists will be Neema Hekmat on santur (hammered dulcimer).

In this unique program, all of the musicians will be on stage for the duration of the show performing their respective Arab, Iranian and Tajik music traditions. Adding to the intercultural collaboration, the songs, “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing” and “Edelweiss,” first made popular in the U.S., will be sung in English as well as in Arabic and Persian.

The concert will also feature some of the most celebrated repertoire of greater West Asia North Africa. Famous composers, performers and poets represented in the program will include Jamshid Sheybani of Iran; Ali Ismael, Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, and Riyad Al-Sunbati of Egypt; and Fairuz, Philemon Wehbe, the Rahbani Brothers, and Taroub of Lebanon.

San Luis Obispo dance director Jenna Mitchell will lead the dance troupe in complementary choreographies that 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 PAC. Tickets are available at the Cal Poly Ticket Office between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To order by phone, call 805-SLO-4TIX (805-756-4849).

The Music Department offers a 10 percent discount to patrons who buy season tickets to four of its 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 Music Department, College of Liberal Arts and Instructionally Related Activities program. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-756-2406 or visit its calendar website.

The Arab Music Ensemble performs at past concerts.
The Arab Music Ensemble performs at past concerts.

Contact: Michele Abba

February 20, 2020

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