Join Talya and Yamma Ensemble for an unforgettable interactive music encounter at this FREE workshop next Thursday. Learn about Middle Eastern instruments and rhythms and Jewish music.
Lebanese indie stalwart Zeid Hamdan and celestially voiced Syrian singer Lynn Adib are Bedouin Burger, a rising duo from the Middle East. Their music marries traditional Arab sounds of magam, religious songs of ancient Syria, jazz, and slick pop hooks—all delivered with a sultry, insouciant flare. Performing as a trio, Bedouin Burger is accompanied by bassist Miles Jay.
Over the years Aynur has become one of the most well known musicians from Turkey and a representative for the Kurdish people. A best-seller among Kurdish folk albums, Aynur vocal style are praised not just in Turkish media, but also in international media. Musically she tries to blend Kurdish with Western music, interpreting her traditional repertoire in a modern way. She has collaborations with famous musicians and bands like world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Silk Road Ensemble, Kayhan Kalhor, Javier Limon, Kinan Azmeh, Mercan Dede, Salman Gambarov, Cemil Qocgiri, Morgenland All Star Band, Nerderland Blazers Ensemble, and Sertab Erener.
Israel’s leading world music ensemble, Yamma Ensemble presents original contemporary Hebrew music. Staying true to the character of the Middle East, the group performs soulful, exotic music accompanied by ancient musical instruments (kopuz, duduk, hand drums) from the region. In addition, Yamma performs traditional music and material from the various Jewish diasporas—songs of the Jewish communities from Yemen, Babylon, and Sepharad, as well as Hasidic music, with the fascinating forms and rhythms that have been preserved by generations of Jewish traditions.
Often referred to as “The Hendrix of the Sahara”, Vieux Farka Touré was born in Niafunké, Mali in 1981. Son of the late, beloved, legendary Malian guitar player Ali Farka Touré, Vieux is prominent in his own right. Initially a drummer / calabash player at Mali’s Institut National des Arts, Vieux secretly began playing guitar in 2001.
In the intervening decade and a half, Vieux has gone on to tour the world and record numerous albums to great acclaim. Notable performances include playing for the opening concert for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. His recordings reflect a deep connection to and reverence for family and country. Incorporating elements of rock and Latin music into the Saharan blues and traditional melodies of his native Mali, Vieux and his three-piece band are creating an electrifying new sound rooted in tradition.
Les Filles de Illighadad comes from the village of Illighadad in a remote region of central Niger. Like many of the villages in the area, its borders are loosely defined, owing to the largely pastoral population. It rests on the shore of a seasonal pond that swells during the rainy season. The center of town has a well, some small houses, and a school. But most of Illighadad’s people live in the surrounding scrub land desert, in tiny patched roof houses or temporary nomadic tents, hidden among the trees.
Les Filles de Illighadad (“daughters of Illighadad”) was founded in 2016 by solo guitarist Fatou Seidi Ghali and renowned vocalist Alamnou Akrouni. In 2017 they were joined by Amaria Hamadalher, a force on the Agadez guitar scene and Abdoulaye Madassane, rhythm guitarist and a son of Illighadad. Les Filles’ music draws from two distinct styles of regional sound, ancient village choral chants and desert guitar. The result is a groundbreaking new direction for Tuareg folk music and a sound that resonates far outside of their village.
To emerge from this small village to perform on stages around the world is no small feat, and is a testament to the band’s unique sound. But their home is more than their narrative. Illighadad is central to everything about the band, from their repertoire, the way they perform, the poetry they recite, even the way they sing. Music has always traveled in the Sahel, from poetry recited by nomads, scratchy AM radio broadcasts, to cell phone recordings sent over WhatsApp. Yet even today each village has its own style. When Les Filles perform, they play the music of Illighadad.
At the heart of Les Filles’ music is the percussion and poetry of tende—a term used for both the instrument and the type of music— whereby a mortar and pestle are transformed into a drum, and women join together in a circle, in a chorus of singing, chanting, and clapping. Sometimes it’s music for celebration, some – times it’s music to heal the sick, sometimes it’s poetry of love. But it’s always music of people, where the line between performer and spectator breaks down. To be a witness is to be a participant, to listen is to join in the collective song.
It’s precisely this collectivism which makes the recording “At Pioneer Works” seem so natural and timeless. Recorded in fall of 2019, “At Pioneer Works” finds the band at the height of their touring career. Over two sold out shows, the band brought Illighadad to New York, their first performance in the city. Speaking of the night, he New Yorker‘s music critic Amanda Petrusich writes: “The crowd in Brooklyn was entranced, nearly reverent. Les Filles’ music is mesmeric, almost prayer-like, which can leave an audience agog… whatever rhythm does to a human body—it was happening.”
There’s something bittersweet that it’s the sound of Illighadad that has propelled Les Filles’ to travel so far and so often. Playing on a stage 5000 miles from home, their performance evokes the village with a heavy ever present nostalgia. In singing the songs of Illighadad, Les Filles’ invite the audience to share in the remembrance, to hear the poetry and driving tende, to stumble out into a night lit by a faint moon, joining in chants that carry over the nomad camps, in a call to come together and sing under the stars.
Koto visionary Yumi Kurosawa teams up with renowned tabla player Eric Phinney for a program that brings together two expressive musical traditions, bridging the cultures of Japan and India. Kurosawa has long had a fascination with other cultures and their instrumental histories. With the koto being one of her country’s most ancient and beloved instruments, Kurosawa as both a performer and composer, has been seeking a merging of two traditions that would create a new music. She and Phinney spin mesmerizing musical tales composed by Kurosawa, as they enchant the audience and reinforce the powerful idea of music as a means to enhance the collaborative spirit of our global community.
This event has been cancelled. Our Box Office will be calling to process refunds. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the UC San Diego Box Office at 858-534-8497 or email email@example.com.
“Mesmerizing.”—New York Times
Koto visionary Yumi Kurosawa teams up with world-renowned tabla player Anubrata Chatterjee for a program that brings together two expressive musical traditions, bridging the cultures of Japan and India. The duo spin mesmerizing musical tales as they enchant the audience and reinforce the powerful idea of music as a means to enhance the collaborative spirit of our global community. Their performance illuminates the deep-rooted similarities of their craft while highlighting their affinity and respect for one another as virtuosic performers furthering their own timeless musical traditions.
Black String creates a unique musical language that embraces traditional Korean music, American jazz, chanting, and improvisation. The group features Yoon Jeong Heo (geomungo—Korean traditional zither), Jean Oh (electric guitar), Aram Lee (daegeum, sogeum—Korean bamboo flutes), and Min Wang Hwang (ajaeng—Korean traditional zither, janggu—Korean drum), and together they captivate audiences’ senses with amplified bursts of the geomungo and Korean bamboo flutes, the fierce quake of Korean traditional percussion, and unpredictable jazz guitar melodies.
Founded in 2011 as part of government-sponsored Korea-UK cultural exchange program titled “UK Connection,” Black String has performed at WOMEX, London Jazz Festival, Winter Jazzfest, and many more world-renowned festivals and venues. They are also the 2017 Korean Music Award winner for best jazz and crossover performance and the 2018 Songline Music Award winner in the Asia & Pacific category.
This program is supported in part by the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange as part of Traveling Korean Arts Program, and Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles. Black String’s tour is organized by SORI.
DJ/producer, percussionist, and vocalist Gingee is known for her unique take on electronic music—blending elements of global bass, world music, and hip-hop. Her work is a reflection of the sounds and cultures she has been exposed to growing up in Los Angeles as well as the musical world of her Filipino ancestors and beyond. Her productions incorporate the sounds of percussion instruments such as the kulintang (gongs native to the Philippines), kettle drum, and cowbells with rap and poetry.
Gingee’s 2015 EP Tambol made waves in the global music community, and she recently created a four-part yearlong EP series released on every solstice and equinox. She has performed at Coachella, South By Southwest, Malasimbo Festival (Philippines), Grand Performances, and Magic Garage (an art and music festival she founded); she has been featured on KPFK, Red Bull Radio, BBC Radio, LA Weekly, and KCET.