WEATHER »

UCSB Middle East Ensemble


Peace Through Music

Every quarter, the UCSB Middle East Ensemble, a group that is comprised of a mix of university students, faculty, community members, and renowned guest artists performs an epic-length concert. The evening provides the equivalent of a magic carpet ride to the audience who is transported through music to lands with a musical timbre far from Santa Barbara. The program for this fall quarter concert, like many before, is filled with a dizzying list of music and dance revelations.

Two “Songs for Peace” are featured as a special part of the performance, a much-needed reminder as news reports tout anything but. Symbolically and musically diverse, Arabic and Hebrew selections will be performed. mee.jpg Another highlight is the special guest appearance by Syrian vocalist Abboud Bashir. Not only will Bashir perform traditional Syrian melodies, he will set score aside for some seldom-heard (in Lotte Lehman hall in any case) Syrian vocal improvisations.

Improvisation will highlight tradition, as the ensemble will also feature other seldom-heard gems, including songs from Egypt’s most famous female vocalist, the late Umm Kulthum. Guest vocalist Dalia Khan will take on “Tala`a l-Badru `Alayna,” while the ensemble will perform one of Kultum’s early compositions.

Music and dance are often inseparable, which is the case in the Middle East evenings. Soloist Kat Tully will perform and the ensemble dancers will circle the crescent for dances ranging from veils to drums. The intermission nearly always has baklava for sale — some of the sweetest around. But even without treats on the table, the ensemble never fails to dazzle.

The UCSB Middle East Ensemble performs at Lotte Lehman Concert Hall on December 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $13 general, $8 for students. Call 893-2064 or see music.ucsb.edu/mee.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Alvarado Endorsed by Capps, Lurie for School Board

He's running against seven other people for two open seats.

Latinos Are Being Pushed Out of Santa Barbara in Droves

New census data shows their population has shrunk by 24 percent since 2011.

Police Suspend Public Sleeping Laws

The non-enforcement comes in response to a new court ruling.

Priest’s Firing Raises Questions

What's the real reason Father Gavancho was terminated from Our Lady of Sorrows?

1/9 Repeat? ‘Nobody Knows!’

A UCSB geologist says predictions are purely guesswork.