Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble Spring Concert


  • Presented By: CAL POLY ARTS
  • Dates: May 26, 2018
  • Address: 1 Grand Ave.San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
  • Phone: (805) 756-4849
  • Time: 8:00 PM
  • Price: $14 general, $9 students

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 26, in the Spanos Theatre. A special feature of the concert will be chamber ensemble (takht) performances by advanced members of the group including biological sciences major Kamal Ahmad on percussion, mathematics major Laila Zaidi on viola, music major Talia Phillips-Ortega on vocals, Music Department alumni Brandon Webb on percussion and Joel Demir on oud, and biological sciences and biochemistry alumna Linda Ashworth on qanun. Original compositions by Demir and Webb will also be featured on the program, and visiting ethnomusicologist Joseph Kinzer will direct a widely known traditional song that has adapted to local languages in its travels throughout and beyond the region — to Malaysia in this case. Critically acclaimed guest artists who hail from music cultures that will be featured in the concert and who specialize in the associated performance practices will join the ensemble from the Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles areas. They include Ishmael on qanun (trapezoidal zither), Fathi Aljarrah on kamanja (violin) and Mohamed Radi on riqq (tambourine), daff (frame drum) and darabukka (goblet drum. San Luis Obispo dance director Jenna Mitchell will lead the dance troupe in original choreographies that dialogue with the music. Cal Poly music Professor Ken Habib, a composer, performer and ethnomusicologist, will direct the concert.

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