Live@365 2014-2015


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About

Live @ 365: Brings the finest artists from around the world, including many debuts to the exquisite Elebash Hall at The Graduate Center in NYC.

Contact

Publicist
Samantha Brickler

Current News

  • 03/31/201504/15/2015
  • New York, NY

Virtuosic Playing, Sufi Fire: Kurdish-Iranian Tambour Master Ali Akbar Moradi Plays for the Divine in Rare U.S. Concert

The word “master” has become too readily applied. But for Ali Akbar Moradi, the title is perfectly apt. The Iranian-Kurdish virtuoso of the tambour lute is the only man who knows the full Yarsan (Iranian Kurdish Sufi) repertoire, and he infuses these pieces with intense, palpable artistry.

He’ll be coming direct from Iran to make a rare American appearance when he plays April 15, 7 pm, at the Graduate Center’s Elebash Hall in New York City. The concert is part of the...

Press

  • Lucid Culture, Concert listing, 03/31/2015, New York City Live Music Calendar for April and May 2015 Text
  • New York Music Daily, Concert preview, 04/08/2015, A Rare, Must-See New York Concert and a Magical Album by Kurdish Tambour Lute Master Ali Akbar Moradi Text
  • This Is Africa , Concert review, 02/19/2015, Awa Sangho in New York Text
  • The Express Tribune, Concert preview, 02/21/2015, Mai Dhai to bring songs of Thar to New York Text
  • + Show More

News

04/15/2015, New York, NY, Graduate Center’s Elebash Hall , 7:00 PM
03/31/201504/15/2015, Virtuosic Playing, Sufi Fire: Kurdish-Iranian Tambour Master Ali Akbar Moradi Plays for the Divine in Rare U.S. Concert
Event
04/15/2015
Event
04/15/2015
Concert Start Time
7:00 PM
Venue
Graduate Center’s Elebash Hall
Venue St. Address
365 5th Avenue
Venue City, State
New York, NY
Venue Zip
10016
Ticket Price(s)
$25.00
Ticket Phone
1-888-718-4253
Ticket URL
http://www.liveat365.org/concert07.php
The word “master” has become too readily applied. But for Ali Akbar Moradi, the title is perfectly apt. The Iranian-Kurdish virtuoso of the tambour lute is the only man who knows the full Yarsan (Iranian Kurdish Sufi) repertoire, and he infuses these pieces with intense, palpable artistry. MORE» More»

The word “master” has become too readily applied. But for Ali Akbar Moradi, the title is perfectly apt. The Iranian-Kurdish virtuoso of the tambour lute is the only man who knows the full Yarsan (Iranian Kurdish Sufi) repertoire, and he infuses these pieces with intense, palpable artistry.

He’ll be coming direct from Iran to make a rare American appearance when he plays April 15, 7 pm, at the Graduate Center’s Elebash Hall in New York City. The concert is part of the world music series Live@365, presented by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and curated by Isabel Soffer/Live Sounds. Moradi engages deeply with his material, using encyclopedic knowledge in the service of connecting and elevating listeners.

Moradi engages deeply with his material, using encyclopaedic knowledge in the service of connecting and elevating listeners. “Most of my performances are a mixture of my own compositions, based around the three types of tambour maqams– Kalam, Majlessi, and Majazzi – along with traditional pieces,” Moradi says. “The maqams are a system of improvisation that define the development of the piece, as well as its pitches and patterns. In my concerts the melodies change, depending on the mood and the feel of the audience and myself”

It’s the music of Kurdistan’s venerable past, the sounds of a homeland split between four countries – Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. Yet the Kurds remain passionately tied to the poetry, songs, and celebrations of their culture. “The Kurdish civilization dates back thousands of years,” Moradi explains. “The language, culture, music, and spiritual traditions are unique, and we still practice them. Our music has always been a vital part of that, with both a secular and religious role. Many of our Kurdish epics have been passed down through the music.”

Now in its fifth decade, Moradi’s career has blossomed since his concert debut in Iran in 1971. By then he’d already spent years studying his instrument and the repertoire under a series of teachers, including the great Mirza Sayyed Ali Kafashyan. Soon he was collaborating with singer Shahram Nazeri, the pair touring the world together and later performing and recording with the renowned Kurdish-Iranian artist Kayhan Kalhor.

Named one of the 50 Best Musicians in the World by British Global Magazine, Moradi is a guardian of the Yarsan culture, continuing a tradition that dates back hundreds of years through his tambour playing and deep knowledge.

“In the Yarsan religion, we value musicians and the tambour,” says Moradi. “The players are respected people; they’re considered the protectors of a big part of culture and melodies from the old days. For our ceremonies we gather in a circle so we connect to one another and our creator with melodies and songs from our thousands of years of culture. It’s very powerful.”

That role as the repository of culture is one he takes very serious. He’s the last to have complete command of all musical branches of Yarsani culture with its strong, distinctive sound. His music is the accompaniment to the Yarsan Sufi ceremonies, an integral part of religious life.

Eight years have passed since he last played in New York, an event he still remember fondly.

“I’m very happy at the thought of playing for the people of New York,” Moradi says, and he has great plans for the show. “My son Kourosh will accompany me, the first time he’s done that here, so it will be memorable for both of us. I’m looking forward to the opportunity of meeting some of my old friends and finding new ones.”

About Live@365:

Live@365 is presented by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and curated/produced by Isabel Soffer/LiveSounds.org. All Live@365 shows take place at the Graduate Center’s Elebash Recital Hall, an intimate, 180-seat space with classical recital hall design and superb state-of-the-art sound.

Live at 365 is made possible with the generous support of the Baisley Powell Elebash Fund.

The Graduate Center is located at 365 5th Avenue, between West 34 and West 35th Street. The venue is a short walk from the 6 train at the 33rd Street stop, the B / D / F / M or PATH train at the 34 Street Herald Square stop or the 1 / 2 / 3 trains at 34 Street Penn Station.

Tickets for all Live@365 shows can be purchased by visiting us online at Liveat365.org, by calling Showclix at 1-888-71-TICKETS (1-888-718-4253) or in person (if available), from 5:30 pm until showtime on the day of show at the venue. Tickets to all shows are $25 or $20 for Graduate Center members, students or faculty. Discount tickets for non-Graduate Center students may be purchased only in person at the event, when available.

For more information about shows, questions about the venue, and to learn more about the entire Live@365 season, please visit us on the web at Liveat365.org.

About the Graduate Center:

The Graduate Center is the principal doctorate-granting institution of the City University of New York (CUNY). As part of New York's vibrant and intellectual and cultural life, the Graduate Center presents a wide range of public conversations, panels, and performances, featuring prominent artists, writers and scholars. The spring 2015 season will feature events with Alison Bechdel, Bill T. Jones, Paul Krugman, Eric Bogosian, Joseph Stiglitz, and many others. For more information about the Graduate Center and its public programming, please visit www.gc.cuny.edu/publicprograms.

Event
04/15/2015

03/12/2015, New York, NY, Elebash Recital Hall, 7:00 PM
02/19/201503/12/2015, Seeking Happiness: The Transcendent Voice of Rare Traditional Female Singer from Pakistan Mai Dhai, in US Debut
Event
03/12/2015
Event
03/12/2015
Concert Start Time
7:00 PM
Venue
Elebash Recital Hall
Venue St. Address
365 Fifth Avenue
Venue City, State
New York, NY
Venue Zip
10016
Ticket Price(s)
$25.00
Ticket Phone
1-888-718-4253
Ticket URL
http://liveat365.org/concert06.php
The happiness that bursts from Manganiyar music is spreading. A mainstay at local festivals and celebrations, Mai Dhai and her accompanying musicians (drum, harmonium) have gone from performing at local festivities in the fertile desert of Tharparkar in the province of Sindh, to appearing on major stages in cities like Karachi. MORE» More»

“I want the world to know about us Manganiyar, our simplicity, our love of music,” says singer Mai Dhai. “We stay away from politics. We play music and seek happiness from it.”

The happiness that bursts from Manganiyar music is spreading. A mainstay at local festivals and celebrations, Mai Dhai and her accompanying musicians (drum, harmonium) have gone from performing at local festivities in the fertile desert of Tharparkar in the province of Sindh, to appearing on major stages in cities like Karachi, and now to New York for her US debut on March 12, 2015. Mai Dhai is performing as part of Live@365, a world music concert series at the Graduate Center at CUNY’s Elebash Recital Hall.

Mai Dhai hails from an overwhelmingly rural area where folklore and tradition live on as a vibrant part of everyday life. Mai’s people, the Manganiyar, are particularly renowned for their music and long memory. They still sing songs to Alexander the Great. In their music, invocations of Hindu gods mix with stunning Sufi poetry, and the Muslim Manganiyars celebrate Hindu holidays like Holi and Diwali, a testiment to the long-standing spiritual complexity and cultural richness of Pakistan’s folk traditions.

One of a handful of female Manganiyar musicians, Mai Dhai rarely performed outside her community until recently—and she bemoans how performance opportunities have shrunk as the prevailing religious environment in her homeland grows increasingly hostile to public performances by woman musicians. Yet this is a relatively new development, and historically, Sufism made room for female voices. In the Sindhi town of Sehwan Sharif, the site of poet-philosopher Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s tomb, women are pirs (saints) and have male followers. This faith context lent strength to women artists like Mai.

Manganiyar musicians like Mai perform publicly at shrine festivals, but most of their music is made for private functions, when traditional patrons invite musicians to come and play as part of family celebrations. Mai learned to sing at her mother’s side—she was also a singer—and began singing for others at age 10.

Though brimming with confidence, Mai had her doubts when she left her usual circumstances and sang for new audiences. “When I stepped out of my community for the first time,” Mai recalls, “I was confused; I had no idea what was going to happen, how the audience is going to react. It was a performance in Karachi. I was worried that people might not understand my music so they might not like it very much. But I was surprised to see the cheerful faces in the audience.”

The cheer and excitement come as no surprise, even to a casual listener. Rough and tuneful, evocative and playful, Mai Dhai’s voice renders traditional Manganiyar songs with great joy and flair. Her voice cuts to the heart, but belts out an irresistible call to dance. (Think great soul divas like Tina Turner or Bettye LaVette.) The rolling beats of the dholak drum and the harmonium’s flowing mirror of the songs’ melodies add a full sound and forward motion.

“I have confidence in my voice and the culture I come from,” she states. “Things around here are getting stricter, especially when it comes to a woman singing on stage. I am the only women from the Manganiyar Tribe who has performed on a big stage But I am hopeful that things will get better, maybe for the next generation. And as long as my voice is with me I will keep singing.”

About Live@365:

Live@365 is produced and curated by isabel Soffer/LiveSounds.org. All Live@365 shows are presented at Elebash Recital Hall, located within the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Elebash Hall is an intimate, 180-seat space with classical recital hall design and superb state-of-the-art sound.

Elebash Hall is located at 365 5th Avenue, between West 34 and West 35th Street. The venue is a short walk from the 6 train at the 33rd Street stop, the B / D / F / M or PATH train at the 34 Street Herald Square stop or the 1 / 2 / 3 trains at 34 Street Penn Station.

Tickets for all Live@365 shows can be purchased by visiting us online at Liveat365.org, by calling Showclix at 1-888-71-TICKETS (1-888-718-4253) or in person (if available), from 5:30pm until showtime on the day of show at the venue. Tickets to all shows are $25 or $20 for Graduate Center members, students or faculty. Discount tickets for non-Graduate Center students may be purchased only in person at the event, when available.

For more information about shows, questions about the venue, and to learn more about the entire Live@365 season at Elebash Hall, please visit us on the web at Liveat365.org

Event
03/12/2015

02/10/2015, New York, NY, Elebash Recital Hall, 7:00 PM
01/27/201502/10/2015, The Voice of Timbuktu: Awa Sangho
Event
02/10/2015
Event
02/10/2015
Concert Start Time
7:00 PM
Venue
Elebash Recital Hall
Venue St. Address
365 Fifth Avenue
Venue City, State
New York, NY
Venue Zip
10016
Ticket Price(s)
$25.00
Ticket Phone
(212)817-8215
Ticket URL
http://www.showclix.com/event/TheVoiceofTimbuktuAwaSangho
Born in the Sahara Desert in the Timbuktu region of Mali, Awa Sangho is known for her stunning voice and high-energy drumming and dancing. MORE» More»

Born in the Sahara Desert in the Timbuktu region of Mali, Awa Sangho is known for her stunning voice and high-energy drumming and dancing. Her music percolates with the rhythms and sounds not only of Mali, but of the Ivory Coast and Senegal, where she has lived, and of Guinea, land of her mentor, Soulemane Koly. Sangho’s socially conscious songs, written in various West African languages, reflect on controversial cultural traditions, her hopes for today’s youth, the plight of mothers and children, and the people who forged her path. Sangho has performed around the world with her group Koteba, and she recently released her debut album on Motéma Music.

About Live@365:

Live@365 is produced and curated by isabel Soffer/LiveSounds.org. All Live@365 shows stage at Elebash Recital Hall, located within the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Elebash Hall is an intimate, 180-seat space with classical recital hall design and superb state-of-the-art sound.

Elebash Hall is located at 365 5th Avenue, between West 34 and West 35th Street. The venue is a short walk from the 6 train at the 33rd Street stop, the B / D / F / M or PATH train at the 34 Street Herald Square stop or the 1 / 2 / 3 trains at 34 Street Penn Station.

Tickets for all Live@365 shows can be purchased by visiting us online at Liveat365.org, by calling Showclix at 1-888-71-TICKETS (1-888-718-4253) or in person (if available), from 5:30pm until showtime on the day of show at the venue. Tickets to all shows are $25 or $20 for Graduate Center members, students or faculty. Discount tickets for non-Graduate Center students may be purchased only in person at the event, when available.

For more information about shows, questions about the venue, and to learn more about the entire Live@365 season at Elebash Hall, please visit us on the web at Liveat365.org

Event
02/10/2015

01/27/2015, Seeking Happiness: The Transcendent Voice of Rare Traditional Female Singer from Pakistan Mai Dhai, in US Debut
01/27/201501/27/2015, Seeking Happiness: The Transcendent Voice of Rare Traditional Female Singer from Pakistan Mai Dhai, in US Debut
Announcement
01/27/2015
Announcement
01/27/2015
The happiness that bursts from Manganiyar music is spreading. A mainstay at local festivals and celebrations, Mai Dhai and her accompanying musicians (drum, harmonium) have gone from performing at local festivities in the fertile desert of Tharparkar in the province of Sindh, to appearing on major stages in cities like Karachi. MORE» More»

“I want the world to know about us Manganiyar, our simplicity, our love of music,” says singer Mai Dhai. “We stay away from politics. We play music and seek happiness from it.”

The happiness that bursts from Manganiyar music is spreading. A mainstay at local festivals and celebrations, Mai Dhai and her accompanying musicians (drum, harmonium) have gone from performing at local festivities in the fertile desert of Tharparkar in the province of Sindh, to appearing on major stages in cities like Karachi, and now to New York for her US debut on March 12, 2015. Mai Dhai is performing as part of Live@365, a world music concert series at the Graduate Center at CUNY’s Elebash Recital Hall.

Mai Dhai hails from an overwhelmingly rural area where folklore and tradition live on as a vibrant part of everyday life. Mai’s people, the Manganiyar, are particularly renowned for their music and long memory. They still sing songs to Alexander the Great. In their music, invocations of Hindu gods mix with stunning Sufi poetry, and the Muslim Manganiyars celebrate Hindu holidays like Holi and Diwali, a testiment to the long-standing spiritual complexity and cultural richness of Pakistan’s folk traditions.

One of a handful of female Manganiyar musicians, Mai Dhai rarely performed outside her community until recently—and she bemoans how performance opportunities have shrunk as the prevailing religious environment in her homeland grows increasingly hostile to public performances by woman musicians. Yet this is a relatively new development, and historically, Sufism made room for female voices. In the Sindhi town of Sehwan Sharif, the site of poet-philosopher Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s tomb, women are pirs (saints) and have male followers. This faith context lent strength to women artists like Mai.

Manganiyar musicians like Mai perform publicly at shrine festivals, but most of their music is made for private functions, when traditional patrons invite musicians to come and play as part of family celebrations. Mai learned to sing at her mother’s side—she was also a singer—and began singing for others at age 10.

Though brimming with confidence, Mai had her doubts when she left her usual circumstances and sang for new audiences. “When I stepped out of my community for the first time,” Mai recalls, “I was confused; I had no idea what was going to happen, how the audience is going to react. It was a performance in Karachi. I was worried that people might not understand my music so they might not like it very much. But I was surprised to see the cheerful faces in the audience.”

The cheer and excitement come as no surprise, even to a casual listener. Rough and tuneful, evocative and playful, Mai Dhai’s voice renders traditional Manganiyar songs with great joy and flair. Her voice cuts to the heart, but belts out an irresistible call to dance. (Think great soul divas like Tina Turner or Bettye LaVette.) The rolling beats of the dholak drum and the harmonium’s flowing mirror of the songs’ melodies add a full sound and forward motion.

“I have confidence in my voice and the culture I come from,” she states. “Things around here are getting stricter, especially when it comes to a woman singing on stage. I am the only women from the Manganiyar Tribe who has performed on a big stage But I am hopeful that things will get better, maybe for the next generation. And as long as my voice is with me I will keep singing.”

 

About Live@365:

 

Live@365 is produced and curated by isabel Soffer/LiveSounds.org. All Live@365 shows are presented at Elebash Recital Hall, located within the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Elebash Hall is an intimate, 180-seat space with classical recital hall design and superb state-of-the-art sound.

Elebash Hall is located at 365 5th Avenue, between West 34 and West 35th Street. The venue is a short walk from the 6 train at the 33rd Street stop, the B / D / F / M or PATH train at the 34 Street Herald Square stop or the 1 / 2 / 3 trains at 34 Street Penn Station.

Tickets for all Live@365 shows can be purchased by visiting us online at Liveat365.org, by calling Showclix at 1-888-71-TICKETS (1-888-718-4253) or in person (if available), from 5:30pm until showtime on the day of show at the venue. Tickets to all shows are $25 or $20 for Graduate Center members, students or faculty. Discount tickets for non-Graduate Center students may be purchased only in person at the event, when available.

For more information about shows, questions about the venue, and to learn more about the entire Live@365 season at Elebash Hall, please visit us on the web at Liveat365.org

Announcement
01/27/2015