Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble

July 26th

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum concludes its 2017 Wednesday Folk Traditions concert series July 26th with Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble, a multinational group performing the traditional and popular music of the Arab world. Layaali’s performance begins at 6:30 PM in the Museum’s Sunken Garden; picnickers are welcome on the grounds beginning at 5:00 PM. Admission is $12 for adults, $2 for children 16 and under. The museum and grounds are a smoke-free site.

Layaali, whose current and former members hail from Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Morocco, are internationally acclaimed for their skillful interpretations of a wide range of Arabic music as well as for their selfless efforts towards promoting peace. Their performances, in notable venues across the US and abroad, have garnered consistent praise from audiences and ethnomusicologists alike.

Embedded in Layaali’s work is a consistent effort toward forging peace and cultural understanding. They cite as their mission “preserving the rich legacy of Arabic culture through soulful vocals, hypnotic instrumental improvisations, electrifying percussion, and faithful renditions and recordings of master works.” Greta Scharnweber, PIER Director, Middle East Studies at Yale Center for International and Area Studies, says of Layaali: “It means so much in these difficult times to be able to stop and enjoy music – to forge a connection with the Arab World that is not tied to political strife and conflict, but instead highlights the artistic passion that is so characteristic of the region. Layaali is a shining example of how to inspire social change through cross-cultural understanding.”

Layaali is presently comprised of Mohammed Majauor on nay and percussion; Jamal Sinno on qanun and vocals; Michel Moushabeck on tabla, riqq, and daff; and Geena Ghandour on vocals. Their music is skillfully performed and intelligently interpreted, stretching in style and form across a broad and rich cultural history. Their repertoire includes instrumental and vocal pieces ranging from 19th and early 20th century classical compositions, to popular folk pieces and contemporary works.

Over the years, Layaali’s unique talents have brought them to notable venues around the world. Members of the ensemble have performed at major international concert halls (London’s Peacock Theatre, Singapore’s Victoria Theatre, Paris’s La Salle Gaveaux), at museums (Boston Museum of Fine Arts), at colleges and universities (Boston University, Harvard University, Hampshire

College, Smith College, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Georgetown University), at world music festivals (Balkan Night, Boston International Festival), at notable music halls (Club Passim, The Iron Horse) and at churches nationwide.

Robert Meagher, Professor of Ancient Studies at Hampshire College, writes of Layaali: “The members of Layaali bring to every performance a contagious love of their repertoire and a deep understanding of the traditions and cultures from which it springs. Their artistry, enthusiasm and humor combine to make their performances uniquely memorable.”

To Visit Layalali's Webpage Click Here

<<<<<<<<<Return to the Wednesday Folk Traditions 2017 Listing