december, 2019

07dec10:00 am3:00 pmArab Music Weekend Workshop


Event Details

Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture is pleased to present an Arab Music Weekend Workshop on December 7 and 8, open to educators and musicians interested in learning Arab music with two master artists, Issam Rafea (oud) and Hafez Kotain (percussion). Participants will be introduced to Arab modes (maqamat), rhythms (iqa’at), and styles of ornamentation and improvisation. String players should bring their instrument and those interested in percussion will have hand drums (tableh and daff) provided. The weekend will culminate with a short demonstration by the participants and a duo performance by Issam and Hafez. We hope you’ll join us!

Dates: December 7-8, 2019
Times: Saturday 10am – 3:30pm (Lunch 12-12:30pm)
Sunday 10am – 4:30pm (Performance with Issam & Hafez, 3-4:30pm)
Location: Greenfield Intercultural Center, 3708 Chestnut Street, West Philadelphia
For educators: ACT 48 credit provided
Fee: $75 for Saturday Workshop + Ticket to Concert | or $100 for Saturday and Sunday Workshop + Ticket to Concert


Hafez Kotain: Hafez Kotain is a master percussionist fluent in both Arab and Latin rhythms–a fluency he honed in his native countries of Syria and Venezuela. In 2013 he received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a prestigious award given to Philadelphia artists of exemplary talent. Born in Venezuela of Syrian heritage, he grew up in Syria until the age of 16 years. He began playing the doumbek at the age of seven years, made his first stage performance at nine years, and went on to study with master Syrian percussionist Hady Jazan, winning the national percussion competitions in Syria for five consecutive years.

Issam Rafea: Winner of the 2010 “Best Composer Award” in Dubai International Film Festival (Muhr Arab) in the film “Matar Ayloul,” “September Rain,” Rafea was the Chair of the Arabic Music Department at High Institute of Music in Damascus and the principal conductor of Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music from 2003 to 2013. While in Syria, Rafea was an active composer and arranger for TV and Theater since the 90s. Rafea collaborates internationally with groups like “Gorillaz” arranging five works that were performed by the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music. It was recorded in Damascus Opera house. Rafea is co-founder and oudist for the contemporary Arabic music group Hewar, which has performed in UAE, Egypt, Germany, UK, France, Japan, and USA. In 2011 and 2012 the group participated in the Morgenland Festival in Osnabrueck, Germany. Rafea also founded “Twais Quartet,” a group that performs both original compositions by Rafea and traditional Arabic music works. He is currently Visiting Teacher/Artist in the Department of Music for 2017 Spring Term at Carleton College, MN.


(Saturday) 10:00 am - 3:00 pm


Greenfield Intercultural Center

3708 Chestnut Street, West Philadelphia

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