Musaique is an incredible group of ten musicians from the Middle East: Jordanian, Palestinian, Israeli and Egyptian, making this their first and only US appearance Friday, March 23rd, 2012 in San Francisco.
Musaique performs an exciting mix of contemporary and classical Middle Eastern music, drawing on traditions of sacred song and poetry, village folk music, and original compositions played with a modern mixture of classical and contemporary instruments.
Peacemakers as well as musicians, Musaique's mission is to use music to build cooperation and understanding between cultures, religions and nations of the Middle East, actively using its music and workshops to bring about greater understanding, while creating "trans-national" musical projects that unite people musically across the region and world.
Musaique members on this tour (there are over 20 internationally) include:
Palestinian Geroge Kandalaft (oud) is a graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music, and plays with a number of bands and orchestras in the classical Arabic music scene. He also has a deep interest in using music to connect people of different cultures. He's played with the Arabic-Jewish band in Haifa and the Arab-Jewish Youth Orchestra, the White Flag Project and more.
Jordanians Basel Khoury (guitar & Arab vocals, as well as drums, percussion & piano) and Atef Malhas (guitar & sax), who both perform with Vengo, a popular Jordanian group from Amman with a Spanish/Gypsy/Latin dance flavor;
Egyptian Nancy Mounir (violin & Egyptian ney) has performed with the hardcore Massive Scar Ear Band and the workshop "Remix" that included 20 musicians from the Middle East under the direction of Grammy winner Fathi Salama. She's performed throughout the Middle East and Europe.
Tai Nakritin (buzuki) from Israel, he plays European folk, Gypsy, Persian and western music. He plays with a number of music groups and theaters.
Israeli Dvir Cohen Eraki (Hebrew vocals) may already be known to some around the Bay Area. He is son of a family of cantors who sing liturgical poems from the Jewish traditions of Yemen (similar to the great Ofra Haza). He performs sacred poetry with a unique combination of ancient and modern sounds that bring to mind the great Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He also sings with Diwan Saz, a group known for its modern renderings of beautiful Sufi and other folk songs of the region.
Sharon Kolton (percussion), an Israeli, has performed with a number of international groups, and in the past few years her focus has been on performances that have a mission of bringing about global peace. She is a member of the Peace Research Village - Middle East, committed to developing sustainable community models in crisis areas.
Lee Ziv (hang drum), Musaique co-founder, is an Israeli peace activist, dedicating her life to building bridges of peace between people in the Middle East. She started out in the Sulha Peace Project, which works to bring together people of the Abrahamic faiths in Israel and Palestine,and has worked with the Tamera Community in Portugal, a peace research and sustainable community.
Meira Segal (Turkish ney and Santur) started out as a child learning Baroque, classical and Renaissance music, but was gradually drawn to the traditional music of the region, where she studied sacred music and dance under Sufi masters in Turkey. She plays with a number of groups, mixing Gypsy, Arabic, Greek, Turkish and Persian sounds. She also teaches Arabic music in Israel, encouraging a mutual language of music among the Israelis and Palestinians.
Kate Bunney (English vocals) from the United Kingdom, is a producer, organizer and event facilitator who brings together local and global initiatives to create a peaceful and sustainable world. She produces an annual international music festival in Europe of musicians using their skills to build and bring about peace inthe world. She has established training centers throughout the Middle East on alternative technologies, ecology, and community building.
Musaique is also being brought to San Francisco to be honored for their peacebuilding work in the Middle East at a Gala "Circles of Light" event March 17th at the St. Francis in SF for United Religions Initiative (URI). URI is an international NGO that works to bring people of different faiths and cultures together to work for cooperation and understanding at the local and regional level, with over 500 "Cooperation Circles in 70 countries and 500 locales. (Musaique is a URI "Cooperation Circle").
While here, Musaique is also conducting several workshops at Bay Area high schools on iintercultural music and dialogue.
This is our meetup group’s second year. We like to get together with people who are interested in all kinds of Middle Eastern music - Arabic, Persian, Jewish, Turkish, Kurdish, …. - , have food and drinks, and go to concerts and performances around the Bay Area. Above all, the meetup is about getting to meet people interested in sharing and exploring great music and having fun. I personally like music from all over the middle east and really enjoy discovering new performers and local hotspots. I play santur / dulcimer, so I'd also be interested to meet other musicians to play together. ................................................................................................................... Here are some great ways to participate 1. Come to our next meetup! 2. Email me events so I can post them to the calendar. (Not every event can be a meetup, but I will post them to the calendar for members to know about.) 3. Become an assistant organizer All questions / suggestions are welcome!