Robert Browning Associates presents
Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 8:00pm
SIMON SHAHEEN & QANTARA with special guests NIDAL IBOURK, AUXI FERNANDEZ & JUAN PEREZ RODRIGUEZ
Zafir: Musical Winds from North Africa to Andalucía
Baruch Performing Arts Center's Mason Hall, 17 Lexington Avenue at 23rd Street, NYC
.photos: Simon Shaheen by Joslyn Duncan. Auxi Fernandez by Angelica Escoto
Simon Shaheen, a major force in the promotion of Arab music, has enthralled audiences with his mastery of both the ‘ud and violin and his brilliant improvisations. Here he brings to life the Arab music of Al-Andalus and blends it with the art of flamenco in a program of instrumental and vocal music and dance. Shaheen will be joined by the exquisite Moroccan singer Nidal Ibourk, who has collaborated with him on many occasions; the young fiery flamenco dancer Auxi Fernandez who complements the music with her sinuous arm movements and explosive footwork; flamenco vocalist/guitarist/pianist Juan Pérez Rodríguez, from a family of Gypsy musicians; and Shaheen’s acclaimed Qantara ensemble. The program renews a relationship that began more than a thousand years ago; it reveals the commonalities of a music born in cultural centers of Iraq and Syria, blew like the wind (zafir) across the waters of the Mediterranean to Al-Andalus, blended with elements of Spanish music, and was brought back across the sea to North Africa where it flourished in the cities of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
“virtuosic sophistication” –New York Times
Sonia M’Barek, who had been advertised to appear at the April 9th Zafir concert, will not be touring the US this spring. She was recently appointed the new Minister of Culture in Tunisia.