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Press Release

Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble Spring Concert Set for June 1

Musicians of the Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble perform onstage at the PAC

Contact: Michele Abba

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble will give its spring concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1, in the Performing Arts Center.

“This show will continue the exploration of additive and especially long metric modes that have become a concert theme this academic year,” said Arab Music Ensemble Director Ken Habib. “In terms of the organization of time that is inherent to music making and often involves patterns of two or three beats, the pieces on this program will feature 10, 13 and as many as 24 beats per measure.”

These works and others celebrated across Arab society will combine in a musical suite to begin the show. Folk, art and immensely popular songs from Egypt, Greece, Iraq and Romania will also be on the program.

The Arab Music Ensemble Dance Troupe will join the musicians for two songs, one by Farid al-Atrash, the Syrian-Egyptian composer, singer and oud virtuoso, and the other a tour de force by famed Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi.

Rafid Yalda, an Iraqi-American musician, educator and master performer of the nay (reed flute) from Baghdad, will be one of the guest artists on the program. Ishmael, a renowned qanun (zither) player of Assyrian heritage, and Fathi Aljarrah, a master kamanja (violin) player and multi-instrumentalist who hails from Aleppo, Syria, will return to the stage with the ensemble.

Other composers, poets and artists that will be represented in the works performed include Abd al-Qadir al-Maraghi, Manos Hatzidakis, Morsi Gamil Aziz, Nikos Gatsos, Sayyid Darwish and Tatyos Efendi.

The Arab Music Ensemble is an orchestra and choir with vocal and instrumental soloists. Its membership represents a range of majors on campus and professions off campus. The dance troupe, directed by San Luis Obispo dance director Jenna Mitchell, has collaborated with the Arab Music Ensemble since its formation in 2006.

Tickets are $15 and $20 for the public and $10 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 event is sponsored by Cal Poly’s Music Department, College of Liberal Arts and Instructionally Related Activities program.

For more information, visit the Music Department’s calendar website, email or call 805-756-2406.