VOX POP Award for the Best Album of 2010.
JPFolks Peoples Grammy Award for the “Best World Music Song of 2009” (selected from 560,000 songs from 163 countries around the world).
"A development as fruitful as Astor Piazzolla's, when he shocked the Argentinean establishment with his "Nuevo Tango" - Ted Gioia, Jazz.com
“A delightful proposition of exquisite music” (El Pais, Madrid, Spain)
Al-Andalus Ensemble founders Moroccan oudist Tarik Banzi and flamenco guitarist Julia Banzi perform with Grammy-winning Charlie Bisharat (violinist for phenoms Alanis Morissette, The Rolling Stones, Jane’s Addiction); Jorge Pardo (Jazz saxophonist of Chick Corea and Paco de Lucia Sextet, 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 Al-Andalus Ensemble is steeped in tradition but the group beautifully and soulfully merges classical, jazz and contemporary music with music from the Middle East, North Africa and Spain to create what reviewers have called “a delightful proposition of exquisite music” (El Pais, Madrid, Spain). 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.
The ensemble won the VOX POP Award for the “Best Contemporary Classical Album of 2010” and the JPF “People’s Grammy Award” for “Best World Music Song of 2009” (selected from over 560,000 songs entered from 163 countries in the world’s largest Independent Music Awards).
Performing to universal acclaim through a repertoire that embodies a new sonic vision that embraces our global cultural heritage, this season 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.
Audiences can expect a program with rich and unusual instrumentation. The oud (parent of the Renaissance lute), ney (Arabic reed flute) and darbuka (ceramic drum) are entwined with the warmly emotional violin and punctuated with flamenco guitar to create a “unique, deeply moving music--a development as fruitful as Astor Piazzolla’s when he shocked the Argentinean establishment with his “Nuevo Tango” (Ted Gioia critic, author of “History of Jazz”). 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 often 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.
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 of international understanding: Al-Andalus.
Tarik Banzi - Guitar, Oud, ney, banjo and percussion
Julia Banzi - Flamenco guitar, viola and percussion
Charlie Bisharat - Grammy Award winning violinist
Emily Miles - The Voice
Laura Dubroca - Flamenco, Andalusian & Modern Dance
Jorge Pardo - saxophones and flute
Anthony Jones - Drums (N'Touch)
Martin Zarzar - Percussion, Bass (Pink Martini)
Rasgui Boujemaa - Percussion, voice, ney, Kamanja
Gavin Bondy - Trumpet (Pink Martini)
21 Strings (2009)
Genetic Memories (1999)
Liman: For Whom? (1990)
Taktokah "21 Strings" Album
Afgano "21 Strings" Album
Martil "21 Strings" Album
Secrets "Genetic Memories" Album
Granadina "21 Strings" Album
Jinete "21 Strings" Album
Alchemy "Alchemy" Album
Tangier "Vision" CD
Laberinth "21 Strings" Album
Alchemy "Alchemy" Album
Departure "Illumination" Album
Granadina (Alchemy) Live
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Press Quotes “A delightful proposition of exquisite music” (El Pais, Madrid, Spain) “Unique, dee...Press Quotes
“A delightful proposition of exquisite music” (El Pais, Madrid, Spain)
“Unique, deeply moving music--a development as fruitful as Astor Piazzolla’s when he shocked the Argentinean establishment with his “Nuevo Tango.” (Ted Gioia, author of History of Jazz & www.Jazz.com)
“Much of what has been forgotten by Europe is being brought back by the Banzi’s in the sensitive and evocative music of Al-Andalus. Hands down the best concert this reviewer has heard!” (Dick Cline, On Time)
“A tantalizing love celebration” (The Malay Mail, Malaysia)
“The level of musicianship was uniformly high and frequently virtuosic. “ (James McQuillen, The Oregonian)
“Plus qu’un simple spectacle, c’est une traversée musicale et une invitation au voyage” (Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France).
“The best example of cultural integration” (YA, Madrid, Spain)
“Sounds simultaneously foreign and familiar, different styles working so beautifully together.” (The National. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
"Intriguing graceful music, sterling improvisations, world class virtuosos.” (Bob McCullough, Willamette Week)
“Tarik & Julia Banzi create a new musical language that unites the East & West.” (Aramco World)
“They left the stage amid wild applause--A performance by Tarik & Julia Banzi is a valuable
lesson in musical culture, and a delightful musical experience!” (Tim Olsen, Guild of American Luthiers)
“They combine elements with the quiet assurance of skilled alchemists and come up with a mix that’s aural gold!” (Bill Smith, Willamette Week)
"A perfect soundtrack, ushering in the night with an ethereal sweetness" (The Georgia Straight, Vancouver BC)
"These multi-talented performers achieve teleportation for the senses.
The haunting, soulful music they made lingered in my mind next morning" (Sorel Klein, Pop Arts)
"Standing ovations are the norm for Al-Andalus, audiences are overcome!" (Marta Colburn, Middle East Studies Association)
"Listeners find themselves simultaneously in past and future. The performance group takes Al-Andalus into modernity and it symbolizes the cultural process and promise of American society."
(Marty Hughley, The Oregonian)
Classical/World Pick Al Andalus Ensemble offers echoes of
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Al Andalus Ensemble offers echoes of Iraq by David Stabler, The Oregonian, Wednesday March 25, 2009 ...Al Andalus Ensemble offers echoes of Iraq by David Stabler, The Oregonian, Wednesday March 25, 2009
Al Andalus Ensemble is one of the few local groups that has the knowledge and credibility to put on a concert called "Baghdad." The husband-and-wife team of Tarik and Julia Banzi specialize in music that bridges East and West, classical and world music from the Middle East, North Africa and Spain. "Baghdad" is their latest concert, a musical tribute to those who lost their lives in the "war on terror." The best way to describe the style of Al Andalus, which splits its time between Tangier, Morocco and Portland, is "contemporary Andalusian," pairing the oud (parent of the Renaissance lute) and flamenco guitar. For "Baghdad," the Banzis will be joined by Charlie Bisharat, the Grammy winning violinist who has played with Alanis Morissette, the Rolling Stones and Jane's Addiction. Among other music, the concert will pay tribute to Ziriab, an important Persian musician from Baghdad who established the first music conservatory in Europe in 822 A.D. Tarik and Julia Banzi also are releasing their latest CD, "21 Strings," at the concert, which will include the ney (Arabic reed flute) and darbuka (ceramic drum). Sounds we don't often hear in these parts. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, 3203 S.E. Woodstock
Classical Pick: Al-Andalus Ensemble
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Al-Andalus Ensemble America owes much of its artistic vitality to its intermingling of people from ...Al-Andalus Ensemble
America owes much of its artistic vitality to its intermingling of people from diverse cultures. The history of 20th-century music, for example, is unimaginable without the fertile mix of African-American and Jewish immigrants whose sounds fueled several generations of pop music. But centuries ago, another vital cultural melting pot simmered in Spain. From 700 to about 1500, before the Spanish king expelled the country’s rich Jewish and Islamic cultures, Christians, Jews and Muslims lived in relative harmony in Andalucia, home to a musical culture that embraced influences from Africa, Europe and Asia. Portland’s Al Andalus Ensemble channels that Andalusian heritage in music both new and old. Tarik Banzi, who plays oud (lute) and guitar and composes original music, was born in Morocco to an old Andalusian family. He’s won critical acclaim, performed with luminaries such as Paco de Lucia and Paul Winter, taught the musicians who later formed Radio Tarifa, and has composed music for many movies and documentaries. Julia Banzi, who teaches guitar at Reed and Lewis & Clark, studied in Spain with some of the greatest masters of flamenco guitar. Violinist Charlie Bisharat has played with everyone from the Rolling Stones and Alanis Morissette to the L.A. Philharmonic and on films such as Austin Powers in Goldmember. The trio has performed across North America and Europe, and its concert at Reed College celebrates the release of its dazzling new East-meets-West album, 21 Strings. The “Baghdad” show will also feature the ney reed flute and darbuka ceramic drum, plus vocals by Ranjani Krishnan, who’ll sing songs by Lebanese singer Fairuz and more. Conceived as “musical memorial” to the people whose lives were devastated by the attack on Iraq, it will feature music from Iraq, Afghanistan and Andalusia, as well as original contemporary works. BRETT CAMPBELL. Kaul Auditorium at Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd., 800-838-3006. 7:30 pm Saturday, March 28. $10-$25. http://wweek.com/events/3520/1/
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The most powerful forces in the world today come from the accelerating and deepening interactions of...The most powerful forces in the world today come from the accelerating and deepening interactions of the globe's different cultures and traditions. A hundred years from now, when our children's children look back at the start of this new millennium, an enlightened merging will be the overwhelming fact of our century. If we prosper, it will be because we have shared the best of our own heritage, and have learned from the wisdom of the other traditions we encounter.
This is as true in the artistic realm, as it is in social and political spheres. I am convinced that the most potent and exciting music of our time has nothing to do with the twelve tone row, or aleatory music, or minimalism, or grunge, or punk, or any of the other fashionable trends that come in and go out of favor. My ears tell me something different. The oldest musical traditions have suddenly become new again, incorporating fresh DNA into their own rich genetic heritage. In short, we are living in an age of musical fusion, and only beginning to map out its mysterious and promising landscape.
For many of us, this fusion is a relatively new development. But for the musicians of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, it is a fact of life, a reality over a thousand years old. Here the sonic genealogy draws from a dazzling panoply of root sources -- Arabic, Castilian, Jewish, Romany and African, among others. If, as I believe, the most important musical development of the modern age has been the détente between African and European traditions, then this special geography should be an especially fertile source of great music, encapsulating in its own history the critical nexus where these two cultures first learned to co-exist. Their local fusion is now our global mandate.
The music of Al-Andalus is thus both the sound of the past and of the future. It advances in the footsteps of the oldest, continuous tradition of art music, the extraordinary Andalusian heritage of North Africa perhaps the world's first fusion music but also is sensitive to the other sonic streams of our global village. Tarik and Julian Banzi have coined the term "Contemporary Andalusian" to describe their unique, deeply moving music. I believe that this could be a development as fruitful as Astor Piazzolla's, when he shocked the Argentinean establishment with his "Nuevo Tango." Piazzolla understood, and his listeners soon learned to their delight, that the old tango tradition had been itself a result of musical miscegnation, and thus its future could not be a static deference to the past, but must reflect a passionate embrace of the multicultural imperative to merge and mutate. The music of Alchemy reflects this same happy admixture of the venerable and the modern, creating a sound that is as familiar as an old friend, but as fresh and invigorating as a Mediterranean breeze--Ted Gioia
(Ted Gioia is a pianist / composer and the author of several highly acclaimed books on music. He was one of the founders of Stanford University's jazz studies program and served on the faculty of Stanford's Department of Music. His most recent book The History of Jazz was selected as one of the 20 best books of the year by The Washington Post, was honored as a notable book of the year by The New York Times and was chosen as best non-fiction book of the year by the Bay Area Book Reviewers' Association.)
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Tarik Banzi Vision Moroccan oud player Tarik Banzi heads the Al-Andalus ensemble. He now presen...Tarik Banzi
Moroccan oud player Tarik Banzi heads the Al-Andalus ensemble. He now presents us with his first solo release of ten original compositions/improvisations that alternate between single-voice solos and subtle augmentations by percussion, or multi-tracked numbers with Tarik accompanying himself on acoustic or electric oud.
As the Saz is the quintessentially Classical Turkish solo instrument of nearly mythic proportions, so the ten or eleven-stringed bulbous lute with the angled neck called oud is its Arabian equivalent. It is equally and deeply entrenched in a Classical milieu of complicated modal maqams, florid Taqsim embellishments and microtonal non-tempered scalar subdivisions.
According to anthropologist Dr. David McMurray, the word "lute" is actually derived from the Arabic "al'ud", giving credence to the oud's relative antiquity, seniority over its European counterpart, and the constant use it has enjoyed in Islamic culture. Tarik Banzi grew up in Tetouan, Morocco, the northernmost point of Africa. From there, sailors throughout the centuries crossed the Straits of Gibraltar for Spain.
Spain too is where Tarik completed his studies in Fine Arts before he permanently relocated to the US. Well versed in his native musical tradition, the Spanish apprenticeship added ingredients from Flamenco culture. This quite naturally culminated in his fascination with Moorish Spain and the consequent formation of Al-Andalus dedicated to this uniquely creative, multi-cultural period in European history.
His present stay in the United States, the cultural cauldron of our world, seems only a logical extension. Tarik is a musician who has dedicated himself to blend authentic ethnic performance styles. He modernizes them just enough to remain appealing and accessible to Western ears that weren't reared on the intricacies of Classical Arabian music.
By concentrating on haunting melodic strains of great lyricism that downplay heavy-metal fret board exorcisms, Tarik's solo oud talks to our untrained ears very compellingly. Like a singer, he relies on the ebb and flow of the breath to impart a strong organic sense of song in his structures. The most unusual - and perhaps experimental - aspect here is the appearance of wailing electric oud, at first quite jarring in its modernistic rock bite, like hearing modern language in a period movie, but only used for occasional color and thus more questionable accent than fundamental faux pas.
Vision is a contemplative album of great and not always immediately obvious depth. It paints with a burnished and virile brush against the canvas of silence. It's not background fare but, similar to the meditatively exploring Alap intros of Classical Indian raga, in need of focused attention to hold the otherwise only faintly sketched musical spaces of the pure solo exploits. The overdubbed insert tracks are supported on a more worldly and steady rhythm base. Via the inherent juxtaposition of the alternating track sequencing, this creates the effect of wandering in and out, from the introspective solitude of a quiet room onto a balcony overlooking a bustling street, and back again.
Vision is a quite the rarity. It showcases an instrument only superficially familiar to Western ears, by an artist uniquely qualified to bridge the inherent chasm with a deft sensitivity for both sides.
The only proviso for following Tarik safely over his bridge - just as a real and swaying suspension bridge would require - is to bring yourself to the adventure with the totality of your attention. I'd wager a guess you'd not only enjoy "sticking your neck out" then but return with a newfound appreciation for the Arabian oud that might have lusting for more. Now you should investigate the other two albums on Al-Andalus' website. This will set you on a pre-charted and promising course into the fascinating aural world of the oud.
Genetic Memories: Al-Andalus Moorish ChamberMusic
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Al-Andalus by Tarik & Julia Banzi Genetic Memories ""World Music at its best, even better!" G...Al-Andalus by Tarik & Julia Banzi
""World Music at its best, even better!"
Genre: Moorish chamber music
Al-Andalus is an ensemble that, as the name implies, concentrates on music inspired by Moorish-ruled Spain during the 8th to 15th centuries when Muslims, Jews & Christians peacefully coexisted side by side in an inspired cultural exchange of the sciences and arts. Headed by Tarik Banzi on oud and various other instruments, and his wife Julia on flamenco guitar, the ensemble encompasses up to nine performers during live performances - including dancers -- and on this release features Ranjani Krishnan on Tamil and Sephardic Ladino vocals and Joe Heineman on piano. Martin Zarzar and Gavin Bondy appear on percussion and trumpet on one track each.
The previous Al-Andalus album Illumination has occupied top-drawer status in my personal collection for years. I kept hoping that the group's masterful exploits wouldn't limit themselves to one solitary example of recorded greatness. While today's Genetic Memories is apparently a 1999 release, despite searching compulsively for a follow-up album to Illumination I had never come across its listing anywhere until late last year when it surfaced on Tower Records website. Because it is a worthy successor to Al-Andalus' glorious precedent, I decided to include it in my "Best of 2001" grouping, thereby creatively bending my own rule that such albums had to be new releases.
Moroccan-born Tarik grew up immersed in the Andalusian tradition and played in Flamenco, Jazz and Middle-Eastern music circles throughout the 80s. Together with Jewish musicologist Dr. Javier Sanchez, he later formed the group Al-Fatihah that, in Spain, apparently enjoys the reputation as one of the finest formations for Middle Eastern music. He has collaborated with Flamenco greats such as Paco de Lucia, Manolo Sanlucar, Enrique Morente and Carlos Carli and introduced the use of the dumbek into mainstream Flamenco vernacular. In the late 80's, Tarik and Julia formed the group Amal together with Maria Ahmed and Rasqui Boujemaa and their joint students Fain Duenas and Vicente Molina who later went on to form the popular group Radio Tarifa.
Colorado-born Julia studied Flamenco guitar under Spanish masters Isidro Munoz and Manolo Sanlucar and is presently working on her Masters degree in Ethnomusicology at the University of California at Santa Barbara where she concentrates on the study of the Andalusian Women's Orchestras of Morocco. Joe Heinemann is the group's pianist and has toured and recorded with artists like Quincy Jones, Robben Ford, Robert Cray, Archie Shepp, Eddie Harris, Steve Miller and Ronnie Montrose. He is currently appearing with the Charlie Musselwhite Blues Band and the Patty Austin Band.
Genetic Memories opens with "Secrets" and an ambient-rich lament on solo Ney that, once piano, guitar and various hand percussions set up a slowly swirling pulse, soon turns into a mournful melody. In accord with the album's temporal locus in Medieval Spain, we're quickly treated to strong aural visions of the Alhambra or other architectural remnants of its celebrated Moorish empire. On the "Marrakesh" interlude, percolating drums, energetic bass pattern, the raspy cries of the trumpet and faint voice fragments then transport us to the din of an outdoor North-African bazaar with its dark-skinned faces and colorful wares to which Tarik's trenchant tremolos and rumbling runs on oud provide a natural counterpoint. "Katrinile" marries the soulful Karnatic vocals of Ranjani Krishnan not to sitar and tablas but oud and dumbek and thus points to similar stylistic mergers in Thierry 'Titi' Robin's gipsy ensemble in France. The faster-paced "Echos" with its darbuka trills dances atop one of those impossible aggregate rhythms that combines various odd meters and embodies a gay yet muscular and virile spirit. "Yo M'Enamori" is an ancient Sephardic tune with a plain but haunting melody sung in the original Ladino language of the Spanish Jews. On the noteworthy album by Santa Fe vocalist Consuelo Luz called Dezeo [Apricot Records], this type of song becomes the backbone of an entire production dedicated to the Ladino culture.
"Portrait of Zahra" is a free-form solo oud improvisation that echoes thematic fragments of earlier tracks while "Afgano" is a traditional song from Afghanistan translated by the Banzis into a slowly limping but stately instrumental number. It epitomizes the entire production's milieu of a darkish opulence and languishing splendor, as though musically we were drifting down the halls of an exiled Moghul prince's opium-dream induced memory palace. The following track "Absence" breaks this organic mold with distinct Jazz influences of syncopated piano chords, drum kit groove, Ney riffs and voice coder recitation and is the experimental but odd oud- man out among these tunes. "Inherited Messenger" transplants the theme from the earlier "Echos" into an oud/piano duet and shows, just like Anouar Brahem continues to do with his work on ECM, how the oud can be lifted out of its classical Arabian milieu and successfully integrated into a thoroughly modern yet perfectly suitable setting.
Genetic Memories, just as its precursor Illumination, is world music at its best and, even better, of the kind that is occasionally shared 'live'. Simply check the Al-Andalus website for dates. Should your local music stockist not have Memories in his store, do likewise to obtain a copy. It's a time capsule not unlike the one predicted to rest in the sands below the Sphinx or Great Pyramid in Egypt. However, Genetic Memories doesn't whisper to us of alien planetary rulers and seeders but our very human cultural ancestors that are given contemporary voices to once again roam this domain in our minds and hearts. And lovers of the oud may want to look forward to Tarik's forthcoming album Visions that's scheduled for release in March, can be ordered on-line and will feature solo oud improvisations by what is clearly a contemporary Grand master of this ancient instrument.
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Le groupe Al Andalous "Illumination" est le nouvel album d'Al Andalous, groupe américain co-fondé...Le groupe Al Andalous
"Illumination" est le nouvel album d'Al Andalous, groupe américain co-fondé par le Marocain Tarik Banzi et sa femme Julia.
Ce recueil musical, disponible en CD sur le net, est une sorte d'assortiment de mélodies arabe, espagnole, américaine, indienne et sépharade. Une alchimie faite de notes et de sons qui puise toute son essence et sa force dans cette correspondance chantante entre l'Orient et l'Occident.
Une mixtion de genres dissemblables où s'éclatent divers instruments musicaux dans un rythme d'érudition et d'improvisation. Ainsi le luth de Tarik Banzi orchestre la guitare de sa femme Julia, le violon de Billy Oskay, le piano de Joe Heinemann, le ney de Boujemaa Rasqui, la voix de Ranjani Krishnan et la danse de Margarita Bruce. Entre ces musiciens issus de cultures différentes et leurs instruments polyphoniques s'est amplifié une sorte de complicité autour du thème de l'Andalousie ?d'où le nom du groupe.
C'est dans des répartitions, en même temps libres et mesurées, que Al Andalous joue des suites chantées et instrumentées de différents morceaux, entrecoupées de pièces musicales instrumentales.
Comme la nouba, la musique d'Al Andalous est chantée à l'unisson par les instrumentistes en hétérophonie, c'est-à-dire par enchevêtrement des voix.
Une sorte de juxtaposition de notes au rythme desquelles trouve son sens et son élan, la voix ensorceleuse de Ranjani Krishnan et le corps de Margarita Bruce, enivré de flamenco.
Bref, "Illumination" est une syntaxe mélodieuse, sans fausse note, qui décline harmonieusement les tendances culturelles et spirituelles des membres d'Al Andalous. Ce dernier a à son actif deux autres albums (Liman For Whom? et Genetic Memories). Deux disques où l'allusion nostalgique au "paradis perdu" est audible. Au grand bonheur de Tarik Banzi. Ce Tétouanais de souche a découvert tout jeune la musique andalouse. Du grand Tamasmani jusqu'au petit bonhomme de Chekkara. Ses maîtres spirituels.
Bien trempé dans sa culture maison, Tarik est parti vivre en Espagne. C'est là-bas qu'il a retrouvé les racines de sa passion, la musique. En Andalousie, il s'est ressourcé de cette civilisation grandiose qu'ont délaissée ses ancêtres, il y a quatre siècles.
De l'apogée à la décadence, Tarik a revisité une belle page de l'histoire marocaine. Il en a tiré de belles leçons auprès de l'un de ses symboles, Zeryab. La réminiscence du passé, ne l'a pas empêché d'aller se ressourcer du côté du Jazz. Un doctorat des Beaux arts à l'université de Madrid en poche, des collaborations avec les grands du Flamenco comme Paco de Lucia, Manolo Sanlucar, Enrique Morente, Jorge Pardo, Carles Benavent et Carlos Carli, des compositions musicales pour la télévision, le cinéma et le théâtre et enfin une rencontre.
En effet, c'est dans sa foulée passéiste et accordée que Tarik rencontre à Madrid Julia, musicologue américaine spécialiste de la musique du Sud de l'Espagne. Un mariage à l'espagnol qui donna naissance à Al Andalous à Portland.
Danse flamenca, nouba andalouse : la subtile alchimie
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Danse flamenca, nouba andalouse : la subtile alchimie Avec Tarik et Julia Banzi et l’ensemble Al-An...Danse flamenca, nouba andalouse : la subtile alchimie
Avec Tarik et Julia Banzi et l’ensemble Al-Andalus
Rares sont les fusions réussies dans le domaine des musiques dites « du monde ». Ce n’est pas le cas des cultures hispano-mauresques, pour lesquelles la fusion est un « mode de vie » ancestral. En témoignent les musiques mêlant habilement les modes arabo-andalou, flamenco et orientaux.
La rencontre de Tarik et de Julia Banzi se nourrit de cet environnement musical multiculturel. Lui, fils d’une vieille famille solidement ancrée à Tétouan (la ville du regretté Chekkara), a reçu un enseignement musical traditionnel approfondi. Elle, native du Colorado aux Etats-Unis, s’est donné pour défi d’intégrer le monde du flamenco en tant que l’une de ses rares guitaristes femmes. Un long séjour en Espagne leur permet de jouer avec les plus grands musiciens, Paco de Lucia notamment, et d’explorer moult styles du jazz au flamenco, sans oublier l’immersion dans les cercles de la musique orientale de Madrid.
Le couple Banzi est désormais établi à Tanger la mythique et a fondé la troupe Al-Andalus, porteuse de projets transculturels. Leur dernier projet, Alchemy, mêle danse classique et contemporaine, danse flamenca, musique andalouse, cantigas espagnols, conversations d’instruments improvisées, berceuses… avec Tarik Banzi (chant, oud, percussions et nây), Julia Banzi (guitare flamenca et percussions), Virtudes Sanchez, dont la voix ensorcelle en ladino, espagnol, arabe, ourdou et sanscrit, Noureddine Chekara (chant et violon) et les danseuses Maria Jose Franco (flamenco) et Zahra Banzi- Horn (danse classique et jazz).
Plus qu’un simple spectacle, Alchemy est une traversée musicale et une invitation au voyage.
Tarik & Julia BAnzi: Al-Andalus
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The once-powerful domain of the Muslim kingdom of Al-Andalus gave the world a musical style and flav...The once-powerful domain of the Muslim kingdom of Al-Andalus gave the world a musical style and flavor which permeated throughout the world, including the evolution of Flamenco and other cantes. Tarik and Julia Banzi combine their musical talent with the Arabic influence, keeping its distinct sound alive in the Northwest. They write much of their own music, and have named their band, Al-Andalus,to honor the region in southern Spain that the Arabs had controlled for over 800 years.
The focus of Tarik and Julia's performances is a melodic and sophisticated mixture of the Far East, India, and Africa. They fuse the classical Arabic, Sephardic, and jazz, into a soulful blend of meaningful harmony. The Banzis have created a wonderful compilation with Al-Andalus, entitled "Illumination." All thirteen tracks on this cd make you feel a strong connection with the Middle East and Spain.
Tarik grew up in Tetuan, Morocco. He earned his Doctorate of Fine Arts at Complutense University, in Madrid, Spain. Tarik has toured all around Europe, Russia, Yugoslavia, and Romania for many years. He and Julia met in the 1980's in Spain during one of Tarik's performances of flamenco jazz. Julia was then becoming actively known as one of the only world-recognized female flamenco guitarists.
Born in Denver, Colorado, Julia had spent many years studying guitar both at home and in San Francisco. She had moved to Spain to pursue a deeper involvement with flamenco and study under Spanish tutors.
Their passion for music brought them together as a couple. After getting married, they moved on to perform throughout Europe. Focusing their concerts on Julia's talented flamenco guitar, and Tarik's gifted abilities with the `oud (the Arab instrument from which the lute and guitar developed), their mixtures include the kamanja, the Arab violin, the nay, or reed flute, and the darbuka, a ceramic drum.
After leaving Spain, they chose to move to the Northwest, and reside in Portland. Since their relocation,the Banzis have been involved with many projects. They developed the music for a school book and cassette, entitled The Rise of Islam. Their work with Al-Andalus has also been recorded on musical compilations, such as their song "Taktokah" on the cd "The Bridge." They performed their original score for Portland's "Romeo and Juliet." The Banzis are active in the `Young Audiences' where they have performed throughout schools to help to break down cultural barriers with their wonderful music. The Banzis also travel abroad to share their gifted music throughout the world.
Both Tarik and Julia teach private lessons on flamenco, guitar, oud and percussion. If you would like to see the Banzis perform, they have an evening concert at Artichoke Music on Valentine's Day.
You may order their CD "Ilumination" online via CD Baby (www.CDBaby.com)
Moorish Music from the Arabs and the Jews
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Moorish Music from the Arabs and the Jews By Cynthia Citron Beverly Hills Outlook June 17, 2004 ...Moorish Music from the Arabs and the Jews
By Cynthia Citron
Beverly Hills Outlook
June 17, 2004
The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre has begun its outstanding summer season of music from around the world. On June 13th their offering was "Al Andalus to Jerusalem: Levantine Festival, presented by the Levantine Cultural Center.
In earlier times the Levant was comprised of the territory that is now Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, but the Levantine Cultural Center, founded here in Los Angeles in 2001, claims the territory from Morocco in the west to Afghanistan in the east and from southern Greece to Kurdish Iran. Their purpose, they say, is to promote a "pan-cultural conversation beyond borders, passports, and dogmas." And on June 13th they did just that.
The music, was soulful, atonal, and sometimes jarring. It came from Persia, Israel, Moorish Spain, and other points around the Arabic world and was played on a gorgeous assortment of ethnic instruments: flamenco guitar, oud (a variation of a lute), ney (a reed pipe), kamanja (a form of fiddle), woodwinds, percussion, castanets, and daff (tambourine).
Israeli composer Yair Dalal played oud and violin, accompanied by Yuval Ron, also on oud, Yegish Manoukian, who played an assortment of hauntingly melancholy flutes and clarinet, and Jamie Papish on the tablah, a vase-shaped drum made of colorfully decorated metal. They were accompanied by Najwa Gibran, whose powerful voice did ample justice to the trills and wails of Arabic music. This group was also joined by Kimberley Michelle, who performed a series of acrobatic strip-tease belly dances.
The second half of the show featured the Al-Andalus group, which was more entertaining, more interesting, and more talented. It consisted of Tarik Banzi on oud, ney, and vocals, Julia Banzi on flamenco guitar, viola, and percussion, Rasgui Boujemaa on kamanja, ney, percussion, and vocals, and Charlie Bisharat, a star all on his own, on violin. A Grammy Award-winning violinist who often sits in with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and accompanies pop, jazz and classical artists, Bisharat was awesome and worth the price of admission all by himself.
Al-Andalus was joined by classical flamenco dancer Ana Montes, who was also spectacular, especially in one number where she wielded a huge Spanish shawl as if it were her dance partner.
Since the songs were sung in a variety of languages that were not identified, I can't say much about them. Suffice it to say they were much appreciated by the audience (the amphitheater was nearly full), who sang along, hummed along, and clapped in accompaniment to the music, which they obviously recognized.
This article can be viewed online at:http://www.levantinecenter.org/andalusarticles.html
The Al Andalus Ensemble presents an intricately woven tapestry of sound and sight: audiences enjoy music and dance from around the world performed from a contemporary Andalusian perspective. The ensemble is internationally known for its innovative fusion of Middle Eastern, North African, European and American traditions, which it represents through classical, jazz, flamenco, and contemporary music. The group’s spectrum of work includes original Nuevo-Andalusian and jazz pieces to stirring renditions of American spirituals to thrilling, improvised percussion solos played on traditional clay drums, and much more. Al Andalus concerts are fascinating evenings in which parallels and contrasts are drawn between the old and the new, the foreign and the familiar, the East and the West.
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|Jul 20, 2013 Saturday||2:30 PM||Beaverton City Library||Beaverton, OR, US|
|Oct 7, 2013 Monday||8:00 PM||Community Music Center||, OR, US|
|Portland Guitar Society, Featured Performers|