In Judaism, Ahava is the most commonly used term for both interpersonal love and love between God and God's creations, in Islamic Sufi tradition Ishq is divine love and in Christianity Agape is charitable, selfless, altruistic, and unconditional love.
Al Andalus Ensemble founders Tarik & Julia Banzi (oud & flamenco guitar) join with multi-lingual vocalist Emily Miles and Lori Presthus (cello), Laura Dubroca (classical Andalusian & flamenco dance). Al Andalus was a time when Christians, Jews & Muslims lived in peaceful co-existence (Spain 711-1492). Recent awards include the VOX Pop Award for “Best Contemporary Classical Album of 2010 and the Peoples Grammy Award for “Best World Music Song 2009” (selected from 560,000 entries from 163 countries).
A synergy between two worlds began 1300 years ago with Tarik ibn Ziyad’s crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar in 711. The “Faces of Love: Ahava, Agape, Ishq” performance is a timely and emotive musical tribute to the 1,300 years of interaction between the East and the West. Acceptance, coexistence and sharing are all focal points for the evening that serves to herald autumn and prepare for the coming winter.
The artists of the Al-Andalus Ensemble build a new artistic language that unifies Eastern & Western cultures and generates a work that is rich, layered and socially conscious, expanding the artistic horizons of both experts and novices alike. Further the advancement of international understanding, goodwill & peace by supporting a group that reflects a place and time where Christians, Jews & Muslims lived together for a cultural flourishing:
We would appreciate it greatly if you would please assist us in bringing this unique event to the attention of the public. If you have any questions or require any further information, please contact:
Al Andalus Events: www.Andalus.com 503-230-
Advance Tickets: 1-800-838-3006 http://andalus.BrownPaperTickets.com
This event is co-sponsored by the Reed College Department of Music, World Affairs Council, PSU Middle East Studies Center.
The Al-Andalus Ensemble pushes the boundaries of sonority and texture to bring out performances of wonderful commitment. The Al Andalus Ensemble is steeped in tradition, beautifully and soulfully merging classical, jazz and contemporary music with the music from the Middle East, North Africa and Spain. This collaboration yields a vigorous contemporary World-chamber ensemble that skillfully creates new and original music, retaining the essential soul and spirit of Middle Eastern, North African and European influences while fearlessly exploring new territory.
Performing to universal acclaim through a repertoire that embodies a new sonic vision that embraces our global cultural heritage, they are considered Ambassadors of Goodwill. The Al-Andalus Ensemble’s international engagements have taken them to Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Morocco, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and the United States. Whether performing for such notables as Queen Sofia of Spain or Princess Haifa Al-Saud of Saudia Arabia Al-Andalus gives all audiences that royal treatment and create what reviewers have called “a delightful proposition of exquisite music” (El Pais, Madrid, Spain). The Al-Andalus Ensemble pursues a singular artistic vision that reminds us that the intricate interplay of diverse voices are the geography of cultural harmony.
Historically, Al Andalus was a time when Christians, Jews & Muslims lived in peaceful co-existence (Spain 711-1492). The Al-Andalus Ensemble locates its creative impetus in the rebirth of Al-Andalus in todays cultural landscape. Al-Andalus Ensemble founders Moroccan oudist Tarik Banzi and flamenco guitarist Julia Banzi perform with Portland Baroque Orchestra’s cellist Lori Presthus; joining the ensemble from Madrid is Abu Dhabi-born, Basque contemporary flamenco dancer Laura Dubroca and multi-lingual vocalist Emily Miles to create an emotive tapestry of sight and sound.
The concert promises to be a fascinating evening where parallels and contrasts will be drawn between the old and the new. Highlights of the program include contemporary works as well as traditional pieces from Al Andalus, Afghanistan and Iraq. Proud emblems, suspended within sound, each infused with its own poignant expression of nostalgia. The flow of these works, tugs at our heartstrings and inspires affection. The longing for an idealistic time permeates the works and functions as a center of gravity for the program.
Casidas, noubas, cantigas as living, breathing art forms. Al- Andalus’s 'Faces of Love' is the sound of the past and of the future. Here, the Banzi's advance the oldest, continuous tradition of art music, the extraordinary Andalusian heritage. “Faces of Love’s” sonic genealogy draws from a rich array of root sources -- Arabic, Castilian, Jewish, Romany and African to create a refreshing, contemporary, contemplative music that unites the East & West.
The Al Andalus Ensemble takes its name from medieval southern Spain, during a time when Jews, Muslims and Christians lived together in peace and cooperatively made great advances in the arts and sciences. The name “Al Andalus” was given to this time of cultural tolerance and innovation in Spain, and the Al Andalus Ensemble embodies Al Andalus era’s values in its composition and performance, celebrating international understanding, goodwill and peace through passionate music and dance presentations.
Tarik Banzi (Oud, percussion, composer) “a superbly gifted player” (All Music Guide) is from one of the founding families of Tetuan and traces his roots back to medieval Al Andalus, Spain. A preserver and innovator of Andalusian music, Tarik has collaborated with Flamenco, jazz and contemporary masters such as Paco de Lucia, Manolo Sanlucar and Enrique Morente. He introduced the darbuka and udu drums to modern flamenco music; they are now cornerstones of the movement.
Julia Banzi is one of a very few female flamenco guitarists worldwide and a pioneer in researching women’s Andalusian music. Her work reflects her over twenty years of living, studying and performing in North Africa and Spain. Julia holds a Doctorate degree in Ethnomusicology and is a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar who teaches at Reed College and Lewis & Clark College.
Laura Dubroca (modern Andalusian and Flamenco dance) was born in Abu Dhabi to Basque parents. She has lived in Venezuela, Qatar, Indonesia, Spain and France, absorbing cultural influences from each of the countries she has called home.
Emily Miles (Voice) is a multi-lingual vocalist with roots in American gospel, folk rock and jazz. David Stabler of the Oregonian describes her voice as full of “duende.” Emily sings a wide range of music, from medieval Ladino and Arabic love songs to American spirituals and Garcia Lorca poetry.
Lori Presthus (Cello) Lori Presthus performs classical and contemporary cello extensively in the Pacific Northwest. She is a long time member of the Portland Baroque Orchestra and the East-West Continuo.