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Alwan Ensemble in Concert (Friend of Alwan)
Unitarian Universalist Church
New York, NY
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Alwan Ensemble in Concert (Friend of Alwan)
The Alwan Arab Music Ensemble is made up of musicians who have mastered a broad range of Middle Eastern and Western musical idioms. Renowned for its seasoned sensibilities and impressive technique, the Alwan Arab Music Ensemble presents a repertoire that includes regional folk songs to masterpieces of Egyptian cinema and Arab concert hall culture to the root of it all-classical Arabic music. "Alwan" in Arabic means "colors," well depicting what this unique Ensemble evokes in its listeners.

Ensemble Members:
Amir El Saffar: Trumpet / Santur / Vocals | George Ziadeh: Oud/Vocals | Zafer Tawil: Qanun | Naseem Al Atrash: Cello | Layth Sidiq: Violin | Tareq Rantisi: Percussion

Member Bios:

Amir El Saffar is a New York based composer, trumpet and santur player as well as a singer in the Iraqi Maqam tradition. He has distinguished himself with a mastery of disparate musical styles and a singular approach to combining aspects of Middle Eastern music with American jazz, extending the boundaries of each tradition. El Saffar has created new techniques to play microtones and ornaments that are idiomatic to Arabic music, but are not typically heard on the trumpet. From commissions and residencies within the cutting-edge, new music scenes in North America and Europe to film scores and to extended musical sojourns in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Azerbaijan, El Saffar has opened up new spaces for the exploration of composition and improvisation, tradition and innovation.

George Ziadeh was born in Palestine and pursued music from a young age. In 1986 he moved to the United States, where he studied oud with Simon Shaheen and classical singing and voice with Youssef Kassab. From 1995 to 1997, he taught at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Ramallah and at Birzeit University.  In 2008, Ziadeh was a featured solo and ensemble performer in the "Brooklyn Maqam" Festival of Arab Music. He is an authority in maqam theory and Arab classical repertoire.

Zafer Tawil is a New York-based Palestinian American and a virtuosic performer on the oud, violin, qanun and a full range of Arab percussion instruments. Tawil performs across the United States and in the Middle East as well as leads workshops in oud technique and Arabic music theory. He took part in the Spirit of Fez U.S. Zafer has composed music scores for a number of films, including two Jonathan Demme's films: Oscar-nominated Rachel Getting Married and Zeitoun, based on Dave Eggers' book on Abdulrahman Zeitoun's post-Hurricane Katrina odyssey.

Naseem Al Atrash is a globally acclaimed Palestinian cellist and a classically trained musician and improviser in diverse styles. Following his studies at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Ramallah, Al Atrash was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music. He is a two time recipient of the "string player of the year" from The National Music Competition of Palestine.

Layth Sidiq was born in Iraq and raised in Jordan. He is a leading Middle Eastern violinist on the world music stage. He studied at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester and with Simon Shaheen at Berklee College of Music. Sidiq was featured on the Grammy nominated album, The Voices of Afghanistan.

Tareq Rantisi was born in Palestine. As a self-taught, young musician, Tareq has shared the stage with some of the most distinguished musicians in the region. Rantsisi is renowned for the deep dialogue between jazz to Afro-Cuban to Carnatic Indian to Brazilian. Rantisi attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts on an Al-Qattan Foundation Music Scholarship, graduating with distinction.

Alwan for the Arts is a U.S. registered 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in New York serving and engaging the Middle Eastern American community and the broader public in the tri-state area by showcasing artistic and cultural production. Since 1998, it has played a leading role in promoting the diverse cultures of the Middle East and its diaspora through concerts, film festivals, dance and theatrical performances, visual arts exhibits, poetry readings, academic book talks and panel discussions, as well as educational offerings in language, dance and music. Alwan creates, curates and commissions almost one hundred events annually, primarily at its space on 16 Beaver Street in Lower Manhattan. Alwan is renowned for its critical perspective, contemporary aesthetics, cultural fusion and inter-disciplinary and collaborative projects.



Unitarian Universalist Church (View)
1157 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10075
United States

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Music > World
Other > Charity

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!



Name Withheld
Atlanta, GA United States
Nov 03, 2016 1:36 PM
Name Withheld
Atlanta, GA United States
Nov 03, 2016 1:36 PM
Feliinda M.
New York, NY United States
Oct 26, 2016 10:48 AM
John A.
New York, NY United States
Oct 26, 2016 10:48 AM

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