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Songs and Stories: Refugee Artists in San Diego

The San Diego Troubadour, October 2018

J. T. Moring wrote a nice piece on our June 2018 Songs and Stories: Refugee Artists in San Diego concert series for The San Diego Troubadour.  Here are some excerpts:

The roots of American folk music stretch deep and wide, and indisputably tap into a myriad of worldwide cultures: bluegrass’ roots in Irish dance tunes, gospel’s in African call-and-response, Tejaño’s in German polkas, and on and on. The Center for World Music (CWM) promotes performing arts from around the world, expanding intercultural awareness and offering insights into our home-grown musical traditions.

 

The newest initiative at CWM is their Songs and Stories: Refugee Artists in San Diego concert series, whose inaugural season kicked off last June. Each of the three themed shows included multiple performers followed by a discussion. The first show highlighted African performers; the second featured Middle Eastern stringed instruments; the third focused on songs, stories, and drumming from Middle Eastern women. These shows gave the performers an opportunity to recreate and reconnect with the culture of the homelands they left behind. They offered local audiences a unique chance to experience unfamiliar music, created organically on the spot by regular folks. The interpersonal bonds forged through those shows have helped weave the immigrant community into the fabric of San Diego life.

 

These shows gave the performers an opportunity to recreate and reconnect with the culture of the homelands they left behind. They offered local audiences a unique chance to experience unfamiliar music, created organically on the spot by regular folks. The interpersonal bonds forged through those shows have helped weave the immigrant community into the fabric of San Diego life

To read more, take a look at the full article here.

For further information, see our Songs and Stories event listing, as well as this KPBS video report. Finally, there’s also a photo album for each performance.

San Diego Troubadour Link

The Art of Peace Banner

The Art of Peace Conference and Performances at USD

The Art of Peace, a major, multi-day symposium exploring the use of the arts in peacebuilding, will take place at the University of San Diego November 11-14, 2015, under the auspices of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. The symposium will feature local, national and international playwrights, filmmakers, poets, musicians, visual artists, and academics who are mobilizing the creative power of the arts to break the cycle of conflict.

For details, download the conference poster. Most of the symposium’s events are free, but registration is required.

One event that might be of special interest to world music lovers is the performance of Saffron Caravan on Wednesday, November 11, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Saffron Caravan

Saffron Caravan features Lebanese-Brazilian Badi Assad, vocal and guitar, Moroccan Aaron Bensoussan, vocal and oud, and Arab-Israeli Haytham Safia, oud, joined by Bosnian Tony Pesikan, guest percussionist. They’ll take the audience on an inspiring musical journey from the Balkans through the Middle East and North Africa to Brazil, tracing the cultural crossroads of sevdah, an emotionally charged folk music originating in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The concert includes an original composition, specifically for Saffron Caravan, by Nigel Osborne, composer, global human rights activist and emeritus professor of music at the University of Edinburgh.

Tickets for this concert are available here.  There’s also a nice poster for this concert.

Events

An Evening of Middle Eastern Classical Music

An Evening of Middle Eastern Classical Music

This is the third of an eight-concert series in the Center for World Music’s Passport to Worlds of Music 2018-19 Season. 

An Evening of Middle Eastern Classical Music

Join us for a delightful evening of Middle Eastern classical music with violinist and singer Luay Yousif, guitarist Jack Tamas, and drummer Omar Alchi. Luay will present traditional songs and instrumentals of the Middle East as well as his own original compositions. A sought-after singer throughout North America, he sings in Aramaic (the language of Jesus) in the Chaldean (Christian) tradition of Iraq.

About Luay Yousif

Luay Yousif

Luay Yousif was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1979. As a student at the Institute for Artistic Studies, he studied violin and earned a Diploma of Art with honors. He also studied music at the College of Performing Arts, until he left Iraq in 2004.

Mr. Yousif was a member of the famed Iraqi Symphony Orchestra for four years, during which he studied violin with Professor Fouad Ritha AlSadan. In 2003 the orchestra traveled to Washington D.C. where he performed with the world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Mr. Yousif was a member of the Iraqi Choral Choir of the Iraqi Ministry of Education and also a member of the Association of Iraqi Artists.

Mr. Yousif arrived in the United States in 2007, residing in San Diego where he serves as Director of Music for St. Peter’s Chaldean Catholic Cathedral in Rancho San Diego.  In addition to performing at music festivals and other events, he is a composer and an arranger of Chaldean rhythms, lyrics, and traditional songs. He has recorded four vocal albums.

Luay Yousif has played violin with the Grossmont Symphony Orchestra, the City Ballet Orchestra, the Dana Point Symphony, and the Pacific Lyric Opera. In 2014 he was a featured artist for the “Your Song, Your Story” San Diego Symphony concerts where he performed one of his own composition alongside the symphony.

About Jack Tamas

Jack Tamas

 

Jack Tamas was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1988. Inspired by the fusion music group Gipsy Kings, Mr. Tamas was fascinated by flamenco music and its similarities to Middle Eastern rhythms and scales.  He began studying the guitar at the age of 12 under the tutelage of his oldest brother. By the age of 14, he became a member of his church choir and performed with them for several years.

Mr. Tamas gained early recognition as an accomplished musician while performing concerts throughout Iraq, and in 2009 produced his “SoLo” album. That same year he immigrated to the United States where he joined the flamenco jazz band GipsyMenco based in San Diego.  Mr. Tamas continues to perform around the country, infusing flamenco and gypsy rhythms and scales with those of the Middle East, especially those of the classical and popular music traditions of Iraq.

About Omar Alchi

Omar AlchiOmar Alchi was born in Iraq in 1995. He started playing drums at the young age of three. With the help of his family, he developed his talents over the years to master Middle Eastern hand drums such as the tabla, riq, and tar along with many others. He and his family fled to Syria in 2006. There he mastered Maksoum, Katakoufti and other classical rhythms as well as more about Syrian and Lebanese music. In 2010 he moved to the United States where he was influenced by different musical genres—styles that motivated him to learn to play on a drum set.

Today Mr. Alchi lives in San Diego where he is the lead percussionist for St. Peter’s Chaldean Catholic Cathedral Choir. He also performs at different events across the country. He is currently studying Computer Information Technology at Point Loma Nazarene University and is a student of music theory under the tutelage of Luay Yousif.

 

Download and share the flyer for this event, here.Purchase Tickets

Program

This program will be an intimate concert, providing the audience the opportunity to interact with the artist.

6:30pm – Doors open. Light refreshments served prior to the performance.
7:00pm – Performance begins.

This is a casual BYOB event. Feel free to bring wine for yourself and your friends.

We highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance. Because of the intimate and informal nature of the space, seating is limited to 35 guests. A small number of tickets will be sold at the door.

Tickets $20
Online Processing Fee $2

Financial support is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.
City of San Diego Commission for Arts and CultureKalabash School of Music and the Arts

World Music at Mingei International Museum

The Center for World Music proudly announces its Spring 2022 concert season, “World Music at Mingei,” presenting an inaugural series of six performances at Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. The series includes music and dance traditions, both classical and folk, that will introduce the audience to the sounds, aesthetics, and cultural significance of the music of select regions from around the world.

Ticket Packages

General Seating Package: SOLD OUT
VIP Seating Package: SOLD OUT

Individual Tickets

General Seating: $20
VIP Seating: $40

To purchase tickets to individual events, please visit the links below.

Mingei Members receive a 10% discount.

The ticket price includes admission to the performance and access to Mingei International Museum’s Gallery Level ($14 value) after 4 PM on the day of the performance. The Commons Level is free for all.

Please purchase your tickets early. These performances sell out well in advance. 

Proceeds support hands-on world music and dance programming for San Diego students in schools underserved by the arts.


Master of the Ghanaian Gyil: SK Kakraba
Friday, February 18, 2022, 7:30 PM

Let Your Spirit Soar: Afro-Cuban Music, Dance, and Culture with Omo Ache
Friday, March 18, 2022, 7:30 PM

Maqāmāt: Pathways to Beauty in Arab Music with the Al-Salam Ensemble
Friday, April 15, 2022, 7:30 PM


The Music and Dance of Bali: I Nyoman Wenten and Gamelan Burat Wangi
Friday, May 20, 2022, 7:30 PM

Flamenco with Lakshmi “La Chimi” Basile
Friday, June 17, 2022, 7:30 PM

Expressions of Joy: Festival Music and Dance of Korea with the San Diego Korean Pungmul Ensemble
Friday, July 8, 2022, 7:30 PM

Health and Safety

Proof of vaccination is required to attend these performances. Please bring a picture of your vaccine card or the card itself.

Masks are required indoors for all guests (ages 2+) regardless of vaccination status. For more information about visiting Mingei International Museum, please visit their website.


Co-Sponsor

Mingei Logo

Major Grant Sponsor

 

Financial support provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.


Become a Sponsor

For details on sponsorship opportunities, please visit the Center for World Music’s 2022 World Music at Mingei Sponsorship Information.