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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.


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


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