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Yair Dalal, NYC, Nov 4

The American Sephardi Federation Presents
Sounds of Bagdad: A Music Journey with Yair Dalal

A unique performance in the four-day program
Back to Babylon: 2600 Years of Jewish Life in Iraq
Exploring the venerable and multifaceted culture of Iraqi Jewry
November 2-5, 2006

WHEN: Saturday, November 4, 2006 at 7:30 PM
WHERE: Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York City

During the first half of the 20th century, Jews were virtually the only instrumentalists in the Iraqi musical scene. All the musicians from Iraq who attended the first Arabic music congress in Cairo in 1932 were Jewish (but one). With the exile of the Jewish community in the 1950痴, many famous Iraqi Jewish musicians immigrated to Israel.

Their legacy is still strong today, both in the preservation of the traditional Iraqi Maqam, and in its influence on contemporary Israeli music.

Yair Dalal痴 musical program retraces the steps of the great Babylonian musical heritage thorough the sacred songs rooted in the Iraqi Jewish tradition. It will include traditional Sabbath Zemirot, pieces from the Shevahot repertoire (songs of praise performed at communal gatherings), and instrumental classics by Iraqi-Jewish composers like Salah and Daud al-Kuwaiti.

Born in 1955, composer, violinist and oud player Yair Dalal is one of the most prolific Israeli ethnic musicians today. Over the last decade he released nine albums, covering wide and varied cultural territories. His work reflects the strong affinity he has for the desert and its habitants. Dalal痴 family came to Israel from Baghdad and he has included a host of Iraqi traditional musical sources in his work. Whether performing on his own, or with his Alol ensemble, Dalal creates new Middle Eastern music by interweaving the traditions of Iraqi and Jewish Arabic music with a range of influences originating from such diverse cultural milieus as the Balkans and India. Dalal is one of a handful of artists who preserve and sustain the Babylonian musical heritage of the wonderful Jewish Iraqi musicians who emigrated from Iraq to Israel in the 1950s, from whom he learned much of his craft. During the past years, Dalal has collaborated with top musicians from all over the globe, from different disciplines, including celebrated western classical conductor Maestro Zubin Mehta, Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI, L.Shankar, Hamza el Din, Michel Bismuth, Ken Zuckerman, Armand Aamar, Shlomo Mintz, Maurice el Medioni and Mustafa Raza, Cihar Askin, Ensemble Kaboul, Adel Salameh, The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Kamerata Jerusalem Orchestra, and more. He participates and lectures in the Keshet Elyon Violin workshops, ISME - Music Education, European Network for Traditional Music and Dance, Mendocino Middle East Music Camp, and the Mediterranean Musical Dialogue in Israel.


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