Arab-Andalusian Music of Morocco Tours United States in September

Tangier Ensemble
Tangier Ensemble
New York (NY), USA – The master musicians of the Orchestra of Tangier will present a program of vocal and instrumental suites from medieval Andalusia in New York, Boston, Washington D.C. and Atlanta, during a U.S. September tour.

Performing sung poems of love, pleasure, wines and nature, Tangier Ensemble will tour four cities in the U.S., starting on September 24 in Washington, D.C. The concerts in D.C. and Atlanta will mark the first appearance of a leading Arab-Andalusian music ensemble from Morocco in these two cities. The musicians will then visit Boston and New York.

Wed. Sept. 24 Washington, D.C. F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre at Rockville Civic Center Park

Thurs. Sept. 25 Atlanta, Ga. Rich Theatre at Woodruff Arts Center

Sat. Sept. 27 Boston, Mass. First Church in Cambridge

Sun. Sept. 28 New York, N.Y. Merkin Concert Hall

In the Arab world, Andalusian music refers to "art music" as opposed to traditional and popular music. Arab-Andalusian music is believed to have originated in Moor-ruled southern Spain in the 9th century, and these musical and poetic traditions based on ancient poems have been preserved and developed in North Africa by descendants of Muslim and Jewish populations who left Andalusia during the Christian Reconquista.

The Andalusian repertoire consists of vocal and instrumental suites called Nawbat, or Nubas. As Morocco was never ruled by the Ottoman Empire, its Andalusian music has the least influence of Middle Eastern musical styles, especially when compared to Algeria and Tunisia.

Tangier Ensemble is a small formation derived from Orchestra of Tangier. Led by the legendary master Ahmed Zaitouni, the orchestra toured the U.S. in September, 2007, before enthusiastic audiences. The visiting ensemble consists of five virtuosi on lute, violin, rebab (2-stringed hand-held bass) and tambourine with celebrated tenor Mohammed Arabi-Serghini on viola and vocals.

The ensemble members have received international recognition for the last two decades for their recordings of Arab-Andalusian music for European labels, extensive tours in Europe and the Arab world, and collaboration with Spanish musicians.

MENA Music will launch "Andalusian Music Festival of New York" in February, 2009, and the current tour is a festival preview, introducing Arab-Andalusian music to American concert-goers in N.Y., Boston, D.C. and Atlanta.

MENA Music was established in 2006 in New York City by Ms. Kazko Kawai in an effort to enhance mutual understanding between the U.S. and the Arab world through music in the post 9/11 world. The organization is committed to bringing the best musicians from the Middle East (ME) and North Africa (NA) to North America to develop audiences for music from these regions. To date, MENA Music has produced several concerts to introduce North African music to the American people, which includes two Arab-Andalusian orchestral debuts in the U.S. and live performances by leading Moroccan Arab-Andalusian musicians broadcast for the first time in the U.S. on national television and NPR.

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Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central


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