The Arabesque Music Ensemble (formerly the Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble) will be touring to present the new CD, al-Fursan at-Talatha (the "Three Musketeers") . Al-Fursan at-Talatha features the music of Muhammad al-Qasabji, Zakariyya Ahmad, and Riyad al-Sunbati, who composed the majority of the repertoire for legendary Egyptian vocalist Umm Kulthum during the "golden age" of Arabic music in the 1930s and 1940s.
The "Three Musketeers"CD is the second recording of historical significance from the Arabesque Music Ensemble, following the 2006 release of The Songs of Sheikh Sayyed Darweesh: Soul of a People. This CD was named one of the "top-ten world music recordings" by the Boston Globe/WNYC.
Founded in 2003, the Arabesque Music Ensemble presented its debut performance at the Oriental Institute in Chicago and has since conducted three international tours, highlighting Moroccan Andalusian music, contemporary Arab composers, and songs of Sheikh Sayyed Darweesh at such prestigious venues as the United Nations, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Symphony Space, Kennedy Center, Harvard University, and Place des Arts in Montreal.
Musicians performing in the Arabesque Music Ensemble are: Michel Merhej Baklouk, percussion; Hanna Khoury, violin; Hicham Chami, qanun; Walid Zairi, ‘ud; Kinan Abou-Afach, cello; Youssef Kassab and Aboud Agha, vocals; and guest vocalist Dima Orsho.
The Arabesque Foundation for Arab Culture is a Chicago-based organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of traditional Arabic, Turkish, and Armenian music. AFAC produces concerts, publishes scores and a magazine, and hosts the annual Heartland Seminar on Arabic Music.
Tuesday, February 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Assembly Hall, DeKoven Center
600 21st St., Racine, WI
Wednesday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St., Chicago, IL
Friday, February 8 at 8:00 p.m.
Rackham Auditorium, University of Michigan
915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor, MI
New York City:
Friday, February 29 at 8:00 p.m.
Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th St., New York, NY
Saturday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Gaston Hall, Georgetown University
37th and O Sts., Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, March 4 at 8:00 p.m.
Distler Hall (Granoff Music Center), Tufts University
20 Talbot Ave., Medford, MA