Al-Bustan Music Concert Series 2014

Posted On:
07 November, 2013

Al-Bustan Music Concert Series:  Spring-Fall 2014

Al-Bustan is pleased to present the 2014 Concert Series, which features internationally acclaimed guest artists collaborating with Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble for residency activities that include a week of rehearsals, workshops and demonstrations, culminating with a concert performance. All concerts, except November, were held at Trinity Center for Urban Life at 22nd and Spruce St in Philadelphia.


Spring 2014

[caption id="attachment_843" align="alignleft" width="150"]The Narcicyst The Narcicyst[/caption]

Sunday March 2 4:00pm
We Are The Medium
Hip-Hop/Multimedia Artist


The Narcicyst is an Iraqi-Canadian musician/actor/multimedia artist who has presented his work at TedEx, The Dubai International Film Festival, The Melbourne Festival and the Montreal International Jazz Festival, among other forums. He has performed across the Middle East, Europe and North America sharing the stage with hip-hop’s elite, rocking festivals, classrooms, and cinema screens worldwide. More about The Narcicyst and his 5-day residency in Philadelphia.

[caption id="attachment_823" align="alignleft" width="150"]FATHY SALAMA Fathy Salama[/caption]

Sunday April 27 4:00pm
Sharkiat: Contemporary Arab Music


Fathy Salama is a Grammy and BBC Award-winning composer and pianist. His music is rooted in the music of the Golden Age of Arab music in Egypt, as well as Egyptian folk music. As a pianist, Salama was exposed to Western compositions from an early age. He studied the music of Bartok and Tchaikovsky among others. However, it was Jazz that inspired him to develop a new musical form and harmonic structure in Arab music. He studied Jazz with Barry Harris, Hal Galper, Milk Osman, Pat Patricick and Sun Ra. Salama composed and arranged the Grammy Award winning album “Egypt” by Youssu Ndour. More about Fathy Salama and his 5-day residency in Philadelphia.

[caption id="attachment_847" align="alignleft" width="119"]ROLANDO MORALES-MATOS Rolando Morales-Matos[/caption]

Saturday May 24 8:00pm
Revisiting Hybridity: Latin and Arab Rhythms


Rolando Morales-Matos, born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, began his musical studies at the prestigious performing-arts high school Escuela Libre de Música. He received his B.F.A. in music from Carnegie Mellon University, his M.A. from Duquesne University, and a Certificate of Professional Studies from Temple University. He is a percussionist and assistant conductor with Disney’s Lion King and performs and records regularly in New York City with various Latin jazz groups and chamber orchestras. He has recorded soundtracks for the films Failure to Launch and The Pink Panther and appears playing onscreen in the Disney movie Enchanted. Morales-Matos is a member of Ron Carter Foursight Jazz Quartet and is an extra percussionist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra. His career has taken him all over the world, from Spain to New Zealand, where he has held principal timpani and percussion positions with state orchestras. He is the recipient of the 2006 Drum Magazine world beat percussionist-of-the-year award. Morales-Matos, who also teaches at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2001. More about Morales-Matos’ residency in Philadelphia.

Fall 2014

[caption id="attachment_841" align="alignleft" width="150"]MOHSEN NAMJOO Mohsen Namjoo[/caption]

Saturday October 18 8pm
Classical and Contemporary Persian Music
Singer/Songwriter/Setar Master


Mohsen Namjoo is an Iranian artist, songwriter, singer, music scholar and setar (traditional Persian lute) player based in California. Born in 1976 in Torbat-e Jam, Iran, Namjoo began his musical training at the age of twelve, studying under Nasrollah Nasehpoor until the age of eighteen. In 1994 Namjoo began to study Theater and Music at the University of Tehran, where he was trained under Alireza Mashayekhi, Azin Movahed and other masters. Namjoo also studied Iranian folk music under Haj Ghorbane Soleimani. His unique music style resembles a patchwork of Persian classical poetry of Hafez, Rumi or Saadi with western music, namely rock, blues, and jazz. Hailed as “the Bob Dylan of Iran” by the New York Times, Mohsen Namjoo is a visionary artist who speaks for and touches the souls of today’s youth. Seamlessly blending the Classical with the Modern, the ancient with the current, Mohsen Namjoo is a true musical maverick. More about Mohsen Namjoo’s residency in Philadelphia and ticket purchase.

[caption id="attachment_836" align="alignleft" width="150"]MARCEL KHALIFE Marcel Khalife[/caption]

Saturday November 15 8pm at Marshall Auditorium, Haverford College
Premiere of “Chants of the East”
Composer/Singer/Oud Master


Marcel Khalife is an internationally acclaimed Lebanese composer, oud master, and singer. Born in Amicht, Lebanon in 1950, Khalife began his music career studying the oud at the National Academy of Music in Beirut. He garnered attention early in his career in the Middle East and abroad for shining light on the oud as a solo performance instrument. In 1976, he formed the Al Mayadeen Ensemble and began to experiment synthesizing Arabic classical modes with contemporary Western instrumentation, and integrating poetry in his musical repertoire. Khalife is distinguished by his dedication to the ideals of humanism and music’s ability to impart these ideals. This humanism has been a driving force of his music, which crosses the barriers of nationalism, religion, and culture. Moreover, Khalife’s music has the ability to give voice to those who have none. As he notes: “Nothing justifies our art other than to speak for those who cannot speak. This is the cause for which we dedicated our efforts, and the cause that endorsed our voices. We only wished to take it as far as we can, and vowed to release our work as songs of love for, and unity with, the victims of persecution everywhere.” In 2005, Khalife was named UNESCO Artist for Peace for his achievements as an artist and humanitarian. In 2008, he was named the music director and resident composer of the newly formed Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. More about Marcel Khalife’s residency in Philadelphia and ticket purchase.

[caption id="attachment_842" align="alignleft" width="150"]NAOMI SHIHAB NYE Naomi Shihab Nye[/caption]

Saturday December 13 8pm
Poetry and Music Saturday


Naomi Shihab Nye is an acclaimed Palestinian-American poet, novelist, teacher and anthologist. A self-described “wandering poet,” Ms. Nye has spent more than thirty years traveling across America and around the world, leading writing workshops that inspire children and adults alike. Born in the U.S. to a Palestinian father and American mother, her writings reflect the intricacies of living as a product of two worlds. Throughout the twenty volumes that she has written or edited for readers of all ages, Ms. Nye’s work emphasizes her desire to build bridges for peace in the midst of dissonance and diversity. Her poetry and prose, which places special emphasis on the nuances of the “ordinary,” has been featured on National Public Radio, PBS, and literary magazines across the country. Ms. Nye has been recognized as a Guggenheim Fellow, a Witter Bynner Fellow at Library of Congress, and a visiting professor of creative writing at universities across the U.S. She has received numerous coveted poetry prizes in praise of her writing. Most notably, in 2001, her work garnered national attention when a book of poems, 19 Varieties of Gazelle, was named as a finalist for the prestigious National Book Award. More about Naomi Shihab Nye’s residency in Philadelphia and ticket purchase.