Sunday, April 07, 2019

Jewish Contributions to Middle East Music, March 28-29, University of Arkansas

Our Middle East Center organized a great conference, plus a keynote and a concert, last month at the University of Arkansas.

It featured (1) a keynote by Jonathan Glasser, College of William & Mary, entitled '“More Than Friends?” On Muslim-Jewish Musical Intimacy in Algeria and Beyond'; (2) a concert performance by Galeet Dardashit and band called Monajat; and (3) a full-day's conference, with presentations from Joel Beinin, Galeet Dardashti, Sara Monasseh, Edwin Seroussi, Vanessa Paloma Elbaz, Hisham Aidi, Jonathan Glasser, and Chris Silver. The titles of the talks plus abstracts are here; bios of the speakers are here. Special thanks goes to Nani Verzon, program manager of the Center, for all her hard work.

I was somewhat remiss about remembering to take photos, but here are two:

This is Galeet Dardashti performing Monajat, and her percussionist, Philip Mayer, who took a break from his regular job as percussionist for the Tony award-winning Broadway musical, The Band's Visit, to be with us.

And Chris Silver, talking about the great Algerian Jewish musician and scholar, Edmond Nathan Yafil.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Report on American Research Center in Egypt conference, "Egyptian Soundscapes: Music Sound and Built Environments"

 I gave a paper at the conference last December, and posted last month a bit from my paper, about Khidr and his song, "Ismi Hunak."

Here is a report on the conference from the online Cairene culture magazine Scene/Noise. It was posted in January, but I just now ran across it. There were many excellent papers presented at the conference, but the author, Tucker McGee, who I met, chose to provide summaries of just three papers: mine, Mark LeVine's and Michael Frishkopf's. Too bad he didn't cover more.

One small error in his report on my paper: I never saw Hamza El Din at Cairo's General Nubian Club, but I did see him perform at the Opera. (And I met him several times in the US, after I left Cairo.)