BU to explore Arabic music

For immediate release: Oct. 15, 2010

Arabic Music BLOOMSBURG —Two musicians will offer a workshop on Arab music Thursday, Oct. 21, at 6:30 p.m. in Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Kehr Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

Presented by the Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, musicians Hanna Khoury, music director and violinist, and Hafez El Ali Kotain, percussionist, will provide a basic introduction to Arab music in contrast to Western music, using live music and audio/video clips. They will also explain melody and rhythm, perform a few pieces of Arab music and teach the audience to sing an Arabic song.

Khoury is an Arab-Israeli violinist trained in the classical traditions of Arab and Western music. As the music director of the Arabesque Music Ensemble, Khoury has led nationwide tours performing traditional Arab music in major venues and universities. He has recorded two traditional Arab music albums: “Al Fursan Al-Talatha” and “The Songs of Sheikh Sayyed Darweesh: Soul of People.”

Kotain is a master percussionist who is fluent in both Arab and Latin rhythms. Born in Venezuela of Syrian heritage, Kotain has toured Canada and the U.S. with Syrian singer George Wassouf and performed in Philadelphia with contemporary artist Sting and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has worked with Al-Bustan for three years and led the Al-Bustan Percussion Ensemble since May 2009.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 9,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.