Brooklyn Maqam 1st Anniversary Concert

Sunday, March 31, 2019
Performance 7pm / Doors 6pm

What: An Arabic music revival in Brooklyn: Brooklyn Maqam celebrates a groundbreaking year with an all-star Arabic music concert at Roulette featuring Syrian vocalist Nano Raies, the Tarab Ensemble, led by the Tunisian-born Taoufiq Ben-Amor, and Takht Al-Nagham, joined by Syrian mutrib (vocalist) Wajde Ayub, performing a classical Syrian repertoire.
When: Sunday, March 31, 2019
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25 presale, $30 Doors
Info: / (917) 267-0368

Brooklyn, NY – Roulette is excited to partner with Brooklyn Maqam—an organization dedicated to promoting Arabic music in New York City—to present a special concert to celebrate its groundbreaking first year of bringing musicians playing Middle Eastern music together and presenting Arabic music concerts in Brooklyn.

The evening will offer a rare chance to hear diverse Arabic music traditions performed by master musicians and singers. The full night of music will feature three of the top Arabic musical groups from in and around NYC, including Syrian vocalist Nano Raies, a rising star who emigrated from war-torn Homs to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music. Raies’s adventurous performance-style combine her passion for traditions from the golden age of Arabic music as well as other melodic forms and rhythms from around the world. Also featured will be the Tarab Ensemble, led by the Tunisian-born Taoufiq Ben-Amor, a specialist in the malouf (Andalusian classical music of the Maghreb) tradition of Tunisia. Headlining the evening will be Takht Al-Nagham, joined by Syrian mutrib (vocalist) Wajde Ayub, performing the classical Syrian repertoire, rarely heard in the U.S. This group is the performing arm of the Syrian Music Preservation Initiative.

Due to war, strife and politics, New York has become home to some of the world’s greatest Arabic musicians. Brooklyn Maqam is dedicated to presenting Arabic and other maqam-based musical traditions with the goals of expanding its audience, preserving it as an art form, and building community. “We’ve been overwhelmed with the response we’ve gotten,” says co-founder Marandi Hostetter. “We started Brooklyn Maqam because we felt the community needed a way to come together; we’re thrilled so many people feel the same way.” Brooklyn Maqam’s twice-monthly packed Brooklyn Maqam Hang events at Sisters, a popular restaurant/music venue in Clinton Hill, have forged new connections between musicians and enthusiastic audiences. “When musicians and listeners can get together on a regular basis, it turns into something more than just a series of performances,” says co-founder Brian Prunka. “People make friends, new collaborations sprout up, listeners discover new music—it’s really about nurturing relationships and making connections.” Every two weeks, the intimate back room fills to capacity with a devoted following of musicians and listeners. Each Hang begins with an hour of music from a featured artist, and concludes with an open-ended jam session in which professionals and skilled amateurs play, drink, and laugh until closing time. According to violinist, author, and educator Sami Abu Shumays, “Brooklyn Maqam has fostered a really inclusive and enjoyable atmosphere that helps to keep alive one of the most important aspects of the oral tradition: jamming together and learning from other musicians.” Johnny Farraj, a respected percussionist and, along with Shumays, an advisor to Brooklyn Maqam, adds, “It’s really filled a void in New York’s Arabic music scene; the jam sessions allow us to offer guidance and encouragement to newer musicians and the regular performances help bring the community together.” Hang music series has presented new performers on a biweekly basis throughout their first year, garnering enthusiastic support from audiences.