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Arabic Music

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ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2012 | BY MARY SYDNOR, For the Daily News
KAREEM ROUSTOM is bilingual in Arabic and English - music, that is. The Syrian-born composer is fluent in Arabic and Western styles, which is no easy feat. The two use very different instruments. And Arabic music has quarter tones, which exist between the notes of the traditional Western 12-tone chromatic scale. With so many different types of sounds and rules to keep in mind, composing in both requires considerable musical dexterity. Roustom, who moved to the United States when he was in 7th grade, started on the guitar.
NEWS
February 8, 2010 | By Tirdad Derakhshani INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Was it modern jazz? Or the soundtrack to The Golden Voyage of Sinbad? The undulating melody issuing - however haltingly - yesterday afternoon from the 15 teens in the Kimmel Center Youth Jazz Ensemble was unmistakable. Even familiar. It was the snake charmers' melody familiar from old action movies. Snake charmers? Sinbad? And a jazz band? The scene at the Kimmel Center's cramped Education Center on South Broad Street began to make sense when the ensemble's director, Marc Johnson, handed the baton to the guest of honor, Simon Shaheen.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2011 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
Two large funders have rewarded regional arts organizations with substantial grants for projects that seek to push arts activities out into communities, draw in previously ignored or overlooked audiences, and spread the cultural word throughout the Philadelphia area. In separate announcements, the Knight and PNC Foundations report that they have allocated a combined $3.7 million to 62 different organizations of all sizes and based all across the region. (The grant programs are not related.)
NEWS
February 10, 2013 | By Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press
CAIRO - During its heyday, it was famed as the lively and romantic heart of Arabic music - a Cairo street modeled after Paris' boulevards, home to musicians, belly-dancers, and instrument-makers. But Mohammed Ali Street is fading. It had already been in decline for years as a music center. Now the crunch of postrevolution Egypt may finish it off, amid economic crisis, uncontrolled urban sprawl, and the rising influence of Muslim conservatives, its patrons fear. The street in downtown Cairo, parts of it lined by French-style arched arcades, is now dominated by mobile-phone and electronics stores, donkey carts, and heavy traffic.
NEWS
May 9, 2011 | By Stephan Salisbury, INQUIRER CULTURE WRITER
Two large funders have rewarded regional arts organizations with substantial grants for projects that seek to push arts activities out into communities, draw in previously ignored or overlooked audiences, and spread the cultural word throughout the Philadelphia area. In separate announcements, the Knight and PNC Foundations report that they have allocated a combined $3.7 million to 62 different organizations of all sizes and based all across the region. (The grant programs are not related.)
NEWS
March 27, 2006 | By Kevin L. Carter FOR THE INQUIRER
During the debut of his "Two Rivers" suite at the Painted Bride Saturday night, trumpeter Amir ElSaffar remarked that some, if not most, of the notes he plays are not even present on the piano. Then his ensemble played the only tune of the night that employed a piano; an odd but interesting vignette from a show in which Iraqi music and jazz flowed freely, often cross-pollinating in the process. ElSaffar is an Iraqi American from Chicago. Four years ago, after establishing himself on the New York jazz scene, he began exploring maqam, traditional Iraqi music, traveling to Europe and Iraq, his father's homeland, to study with the music's few surviving masters.
NEWS
May 7, 1987 | By MARIANNE COSTANTINOU, Daily News Nightlife Writer
Just down the block from America's Liberty Bell is a portal to the strange exotic world of the Middle East, a world of fezzes and women in veils, of seductive dance and haunting music. The portal is the Middle East Restaurant, 126 Chestnut St. For years, this 170-seat restaurant has featured what is commonly called belly dancing but what the dancers call Oriental dancing. Whatever it's called, said Dr. Hubert Bofili, 47, of St. Louis, eating dinner there the other night with his wife, the dancing is "very artistic.
NEWS
December 13, 2012 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
Remembering Anthony Shadid, Sunday's moving tribute to the brilliant New York Times correspondent who died reporting from Syria nine months ago, was a moving mix of Arabic music and excerpts from his memoir about Lebanon, read through choked-back tears by his widow, Nada Bakri. Presented by Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, a Philadelphia nonprofit devoted to teaching Arabic language and arts, and sponsored by Qatar Foundation International, the event drew about 200 people to Trinity Center for Urban Life in Center City.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 19, 2007 | By HOWARD GENSLER Daily News wire services contributed to this report
WE'VE TRIED everything else in the Middle East, so why not hip-hop? After helping destroy the music business here by turning it into a video medium and then abandoning it for a spate of reality shows, MTV Arabia hopes to work the same magic in the desert. The station, which debuted with a show featuring Ludacris over a fatwa-free weekend, hopes its special brand of hip-hop and reality TV tailored and sanitized for a more conservative Middle East will draw young Arabs away from dozens of locally produced music video channels that already dominate the market.
NEWS
November 21, 1995 | By Kay Raftery, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Pita bread was piled high on a plate, next to a basket of bagels in the center of the long buffet table. Couscous and a vegetable stew, a red sauce called marduma, a hot sauce called schug, and cold salads were just some of the Middle Eastern foods on the table. All were kosher, and all were vegetarian. All were served at the Muslim-Jewish Dialogue held Sunday night at the Jewish Community Center's Kaiserman Branch. Traditional Jewish and Arabic music filled the auditorium, supplied by Atzilut and Firkat Al'amal, two Philadelphia-based bands whose members play traditional and ancient instruments such as the oud, a stringed instrument, and two percussion instruments, the dumbek and tabla.
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NEWS
February 10, 2013 | By Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press
CAIRO - During its heyday, it was famed as the lively and romantic heart of Arabic music - a Cairo street modeled after Paris' boulevards, home to musicians, belly-dancers, and instrument-makers. But Mohammed Ali Street is fading. It had already been in decline for years as a music center. Now the crunch of postrevolution Egypt may finish it off, amid economic crisis, uncontrolled urban sprawl, and the rising influence of Muslim conservatives, its patrons fear. The street in downtown Cairo, parts of it lined by French-style arched arcades, is now dominated by mobile-phone and electronics stores, donkey carts, and heavy traffic.
NEWS
December 13, 2012 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
Remembering Anthony Shadid, Sunday's moving tribute to the brilliant New York Times correspondent who died reporting from Syria nine months ago, was a moving mix of Arabic music and excerpts from his memoir about Lebanon, read through choked-back tears by his widow, Nada Bakri. Presented by Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, a Philadelphia nonprofit devoted to teaching Arabic language and arts, and sponsored by Qatar Foundation International, the event drew about 200 people to Trinity Center for Urban Life in Center City.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2012 | BY MARY SYDNOR, For the Daily News
KAREEM ROUSTOM is bilingual in Arabic and English - music, that is. The Syrian-born composer is fluent in Arabic and Western styles, which is no easy feat. The two use very different instruments. And Arabic music has quarter tones, which exist between the notes of the traditional Western 12-tone chromatic scale. With so many different types of sounds and rules to keep in mind, composing in both requires considerable musical dexterity. Roustom, who moved to the United States when he was in 7th grade, started on the guitar.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2011 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
Two large funders have rewarded regional arts organizations with substantial grants for projects that seek to push arts activities out into communities, draw in previously ignored or overlooked audiences, and spread the cultural word throughout the Philadelphia area. In separate announcements, the Knight and PNC Foundations report that they have allocated a combined $3.7 million to 62 different organizations of all sizes and based all across the region. (The grant programs are not related.)
NEWS
May 9, 2011 | By Stephan Salisbury, INQUIRER CULTURE WRITER
Two large funders have rewarded regional arts organizations with substantial grants for projects that seek to push arts activities out into communities, draw in previously ignored or overlooked audiences, and spread the cultural word throughout the Philadelphia area. In separate announcements, the Knight and PNC Foundations report that they have allocated a combined $3.7 million to 62 different organizations of all sizes and based all across the region. (The grant programs are not related.)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 2010 | By John Timpane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Buika's smoky, throaty voice rises up from her superb new album, El Último Trago ( The Last Drink) , and the names of other incredible singers pass through your mind. Nina Simone. Miriam Makeba. Cesaria Evora. Mercedes Sosa. Amalia Rodrigues. Omara Portuondo. Buika, who comes to the Kimmel Center Tuesday, is like none - and has taken all on board. In Trago , the flexible, singular voice of María Concepción Balboa Buika combines elements of Afro-Cuban, flamenco, pan-American, and even Arabic music in a set of emotional songs played live in the studio with an all-star lineup of world musicians.
NEWS
February 8, 2010 | By Tirdad Derakhshani INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Was it modern jazz? Or the soundtrack to The Golden Voyage of Sinbad? The undulating melody issuing - however haltingly - yesterday afternoon from the 15 teens in the Kimmel Center Youth Jazz Ensemble was unmistakable. Even familiar. It was the snake charmers' melody familiar from old action movies. Snake charmers? Sinbad? And a jazz band? The scene at the Kimmel Center's cramped Education Center on South Broad Street began to make sense when the ensemble's director, Marc Johnson, handed the baton to the guest of honor, Simon Shaheen.
NEWS
February 3, 2009 | By David R. Stampone FOR THE INQUIRER
More than ever, the music of the Arab world is with us, right here in the good ol' U.S.A. The relatively unfamiliar quarter-tones and microtonal quavers of pan-Arabic music may still suggest something exotic to Western ears. But, as the sublime Sunday afternoon performance of New York-based Palestinian maestro Simon Shaheen and ensemble at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater demonstrated, it thrives in this country. Whether imported via immigration or foreign entanglements, the culture it springs from is increasingly embedded in our own. The 53-year-old Shaheen is a virtuoso on both the violin and the oud - the pear-shaped, lutelike forerunner of the guitar - and a celebrated genre-exploring composer as well as a torch-carrying interpreter of Arabic standards.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 19, 2007 | By HOWARD GENSLER Daily News wire services contributed to this report
WE'VE TRIED everything else in the Middle East, so why not hip-hop? After helping destroy the music business here by turning it into a video medium and then abandoning it for a spate of reality shows, MTV Arabia hopes to work the same magic in the desert. The station, which debuted with a show featuring Ludacris over a fatwa-free weekend, hopes its special brand of hip-hop and reality TV tailored and sanitized for a more conservative Middle East will draw young Arabs away from dozens of locally produced music video channels that already dominate the market.
NEWS
March 27, 2006 | By Kevin L. Carter FOR THE INQUIRER
During the debut of his "Two Rivers" suite at the Painted Bride Saturday night, trumpeter Amir ElSaffar remarked that some, if not most, of the notes he plays are not even present on the piano. Then his ensemble played the only tune of the night that employed a piano; an odd but interesting vignette from a show in which Iraqi music and jazz flowed freely, often cross-pollinating in the process. ElSaffar is an Iraqi American from Chicago. Four years ago, after establishing himself on the New York jazz scene, he began exploring maqam, traditional Iraqi music, traveling to Europe and Iraq, his father's homeland, to study with the music's few surviving masters.
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