Arab Music Concert Series: Fall 2013

Sept: Join the Philadelphia Arab Music Ensemble

Joins us for Al-Bustan’s End-of-Camp Performance

Al-Bustan Camp is underway… so many exciting things happening with a wonderful group of campers, teachers, and staff! UMM KULTHUM’s imagery, music, and life story permeate throughout camp.

We invite you to join us on Friday, July 12, 2013 to see the the culminating performance and exhibit at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. It’s free, so bring your friends and family!

You can read more about what’s happening daily at camp on Al-Bustan’s Blog.

Here’s a selection of photos of what the campers have been up to these two weeks:

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May 1: Dinner with Tunisian Vocalist Sonia M’Barek

April 11: Philadelphia Arab Music Ensemble Performance

Offered in partnership with UPenn’s Music Department and Greenfield Intercultural Center, Al-Bustan’s Arab Music Ensemble class which meets weekly at UPenn will present its culminating performance for the semester on Thursday April 11, 7-8pm at Amado Recital Hall in Irvine Auditorium. Free/Open to the Public.

April 20: Gala to Celebrate Al-Bustan’s 10th Anniversary


Join us for an evening of celebration, tasty Arab cuisine, and beautiful music and art, while celebrating 10 years of Arab culture and education in Philadelphia!

Date: Saturday April 20, 2013

Time: 6:30-9:30pm – Master of Ceremonies Michaela Majoun, host of XPN Morning Show

  • 6:30 – Doors Open
  • 7:00 – Buffet Dinner (cash bar)
  • 8:00 – 10-Year Retrospective
  • 8:00 – Performance by Marcel Khalife with Al-Bustan’s Resident Takht Ensemble, and a live visual art performance by Kevork Mourad
  • 9:30 – Live Auction

Location: Trinity Center for Urban Life, 22nd and Spruce St, Philadelphia
Download Parking Coupon for discounted parking

BE A SPONSOR and support Al-Bustan’s mission of presenting and teaching the Arabic language, arts, and culture!

Tickets: $150 per person -
Purchase tickets online, or send payment by mail with this invitation.

Tax deductible portion of ticket is $75. All proceeds benefit Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture.

RSVP:  extended to April 13, 2013

Seating capacity: limited to 190 so please get your tickets early!

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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.

Al-Bustan is pleased to have hosted Marcel Khalife on March 13, 2011 in a concert honoring his work and longstanding contributions globally and in the Arab world. Khalife is Honorary Chair of Al-Bustan’s Advisory Board.

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KEVORK MOURAD, an artist of Armenian origin, was born in Kamechli, Syria. After his secondary education in Syria, he studied at the Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts in Armenia where he received his MFA in 1996. He came to the United States shortly after where he has performed and exhibited widely. Early on in his career, he developed a technique of spontaneous painting in which he shares the stage with musicians, his art created in counterpoint to their music. He has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Kinan Azmeh, Ezequiel Viñao, Tambuco, Song Fusion, Mari Kimura, Ken Ueno, Liubo Borissov, Eve Beglarian, Rami Khalife, Maya Trio, SYOTOS, and Brooklyn Rider, among others. Mourad has performed and exhibited his paintings and works on paper in museums and concert halls around the world, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Tenri Center, Angel Orensantz, 92nd St. Y, Cooper Union, Rhode Island School of Design, Harvard University, Nara Museum in Japan, Rubin Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, Chicago Institute of Art, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Juilliard’s “Beyond the Machine” Festival, Chelsea Museum of Art, the City University of New York, the American Museum of Natural History, Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Al-Bustan is pleased to have presented Kevork Mourad in a collaborative project Roads to Damascus with Kinan Abou-afach in February 2013.

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MICHAELA MAJOUN is the award-winning host of the XPN Morning Show and The Women’s Music Hour on WXPN-FM.  In her over 20 years there the station has grown into one of the nation’s leading noncommercial public radio stations and a pioneer in the development of the AAA (Adult Album Alternative) radio format nationally.  Michaela has also been an interviewer for XPN’s national show, World Cafe with David Dye, now heard on over stations around the country, since it started two decades ago.  She’s included in the On the Air: Rock and Roll and Radio exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.  Michaela is WXPN’s arts maven, featuring Fall and Spring Arts Previews and the Friday Morning Arts Crawl, on the XPN Morning Show.

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Feb 23: Concert Series presents “Roads to Damascus”

March 23: Concert Series presents vocalist Rima Khcheich

Join the Philadelphia Arab Music Ensemble

Teacher Workshop on Umm Kulthum Curriculum

UPenn’s Middle East Center and Al-Bustan are pleased to present

Teacher Development Workshop:
The Life, Times, and Sounds of Umm Kulthum

Literacy, Social Studies and Music Educators are invited to attend this workshop about preeminent Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum whose extraordinary life provides a window into Arab arts, culture, and history.

This workshop will guide teachers through a new online curriculum unit about the life and legacy of Umm Kulthum. Created by a team of educators, artists, and digital designers with Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, the curriculum is designed to align with and incorporate American Common Core Standards, and can be used by literacy, social studies, music, and Arabic language educators. Workshop participants will gain an understanding of the historical context of Egypt during her lifetime, explore in some depth two of the ten lesson plans, and experience learning to sing an Egyptian song using the online music education tool.
Please visit Al-Bustan Digital Education

Date: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Time: 10am – 1pm (snacks provided)
Location: UPenn campus:  Room 25 at Williams Hall, 255 South 36th Street, Philadelphia
Cost: FREE
RSVP: contact us or call 267-809-3668
Notes: Space is limited, please register early to ensure a space. Teaching materials will be provided to workshop participants.

Workshop Agenda

1. Introducing Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture – Hazami Sayed, Executive Director, Al-Bustan

2. Curriculum Overview of Umm Kulthum: Her Life and Legacy – Hazami Sayed and Eric Lundblade, Education Coordinator, Al-Bustan

3. Historical Overview: Contextualizing Umm Kulthum – Alon Tam, PhD Candidate, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations Dept, UPenn

4. Music Demonstration and Song Lesson – Hanna Khoury, Director of Music Program, Al-Bustan