Adam Maalouf & Future Tribe
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Adam Maalouf & Future Tribe

Brooklyn, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Brooklyn, NY | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band World Jazz

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"OPEN Artist Spotlight with Adam Maalouf"

OPEN Artist Spotlight with Adam Maalouf | OPEN Friday | September 23rd, 2016 This week’s spotlight shines on a talented percussionist who has traveled the world. - Bronxnet


"Asheville Percussion Festival and Make Music Asheville host handpan artist Adam Maalouf and ‘kalimba man’ Kevin Spears"

On Sunday, June 21, one man traversed the hallways of Odyssey Community School with four didgeridoos in hand, passing a fellow barefooted musician before resuming his load-out. Inside the school’s performance room, where instruments from across the globe filled a loosely defined space on the floor, local rhythm master River Guergeurian encouraged the dozens of expectant attendees to test out a hand drum while waiting for the next act.

The show — a split bill between handpan player Adam Maalouf and “kalimba man” Kevin Spears – was doubly significant for its association with both the fourth annual Asheville Percussion Festival and inaugural Make Music Asheville. Both festivals, hosted by Guerguerian and Jeff Arnal respectively, are multi-day, multi-venue events celebrating Asheville’s commitment to the musical arts.

With three locally made Saraz handpans splayed out before him, Maalouf began the concert. His movements, predominantly controlled taps of the index fingers and thumbs, employed all angles of the steel instruments, with the highest pitches hailing from the underbelly of the bowls.

Pausing between elegant, therapeutic songs, he revealed that his discovery of the now beloved instrument actually took place at a previous iteration of the Asheville Percussion Festival.

Continuing to prop up the crowd’s high spirits, Spears took the stage and began with a kalimba-only number. He soon added loops of live-recorded rhythms – some by tapping the bottom of his kalimba and others employing a drum machine – prompting eager smiles and as much dancing as can be expected from a fully seated crowd.

Before adjourning, the two artists invited Asheville Percussion Festival’s headliner, New York City-based drum guru Bashiri “the Bash-man” Johnson, to round out their ad-hoc trio. Climactic moments of rhythmic synergy drew mid song-applause and awe from the audience before toes went tapping out the door.

For more information about Asheville Percussion Festival and Make Music Asheville, visit ashevillepercussionfestival.com and facebook.com/makemusicasheville. For those who cannot attend the celebrations, here’s a sample clip of Maalouf playing an improvised tune on one of his hanpans - Mountain Xpress - Kat McReynolds


"Art Comes Alive"

CLARKS SUMMIT — Fourth-grade students at Newton Ransom Elementary School stepped outside the boundaries of ordinary class instruction for a few weeks and that was just fine with their teachers and administrators.

Through the school’s Arts Alive program, funded by AEIO and You, the Abington Heights Educational Improvement Organization, artist-in-residence Adam Maalouf took the youngsters on a musical journey around the globe.

Arts Alive incorporates literature, poetry, visual arts, performing arts and more into the curriculum throughout the school year.

With the guidance of Maalouf, the students performed “A Breath of Life” for their fellow classmates, teachers, and parents at Abington Heights Middle School on March 6.

“From the minute he arrived at his welcome assembly, he jumped right in and started teaching,” fourth-grade teacher Brian Saslo said. “There is a natural teacher inside him as well as a musician. The connection between the arts and education is more powerful than people realize. By seeing it and reading it, feeling it and dancing it, the students take away more than any textbook can ever give them.”

According to Saslo, the students were afforded many hands-on learning experiences through the program.

“They sat down with (Adam) in a mini recording studio, put their headphones on and felt like they were the artists themselves,” he said. “There was something personally they took from that experience.”

Newton Ransom Elementary School Principal Amy Williams agreed that Maalouf’s time with the students was invaluable.

“We try to integrate art, music and dance into our curriculum as much as we can while still meeting the standards of the state,” she said. “We’re really pleased with how much Adam worked with the students and how he helped stretch them a little bit. They worked beyond what they’re comfortable with and got a little stronger with public speaking and public performance.”

Maalouf cherished his time with the students and believes they were moved by his musical talents and enthusiasm.

“For me, the biggest joy was being able to expose them to different musical cultures from around the world, from India to the Middle East, Africa and Latin America,” Maalouf, 24, of Brooklyn, N.Y., said. “We talked about Cuba and the United States recent open relations with the country, I thought that was relevant to give the students a sense of global perspective musically in the arts.

“They all had a lot of enthusiasm to learn about the subject matter and I think that has to do with the type of energy that I’m bring to the teaching. They see how much fun I’m having and they want to be able to create the same types of feelings.”

Fourth-grade teacher Rebecca Kameroski discovered Maalouf while visiting Washington Square Park in New York City over the summer and thought he would be a good fit for this semester’s program.

“We knew we were going to do a program on the ocean,” she said. “It was an incredible experience to bring him into our classrooms. Every child got to drum, to sing, to move, and they all wrote poetry.”

Kameroski added that Maalouf also integrated math into the curriculum through geometry and fractions during the musical performances.

Maalouf had a particular impact on Alea Dorunda, a member of Kameroski’s class.

“It was so exciting,” she said of Maalouf’s tutelage. “He taught us so many rhythms and now when I grow up I really want to play the drums. I was excited about performing in front of other people because it’s just so fun to do it.” - Times Leader


"A Vivacious Celebration of Steve Reich"

Steve Reich turns 80 on Oct. 3, and the party has already started.

Over the last week, he was celebrated by the Lincoln Center Festival in a series called Reich/Reverberations, comprising three concerts that included outstanding performances of two 1970s masterpieces, “Drumming” and “Music for 18 Musicians.”

And if more than three decades of centrality to New York’s culture was not evidence enough that Mr. Reich occupies a position unique among composers, both cultish and canonical, there’s plenty of chance to engage with his work in the coming months. Symphony Space, the Miller Theater and Carnegie Hall, where he will hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair next season, will all present retrospectives.

By contrast, the group’s “Music for 18 Musicians” — 20, in this case — was the transcendent experience you always hope for when hearing this piece live. Changes from section to section, chord to chord, came as if they were portals to whole new worlds, none more so than at the introduction of Adam Maalouf’s steadfast maracas around the halfway point.

Balances, aided by a modicum of amplification, were immaculate, revealing the warm embrace of the clarinets of Adrián Sandí and Eileen Mack; the details gently underlined by the pianists David Friend, Oliver Hagen, Red Wierenga and Lisa Moore; the pointed rhythms of the vocalists Martha Cluver, Mellissa Hughes, Kirsten Sollek and Caroline Shaw. The momentum in the marimbas and xylophones was inexorable. It was so alluring, so rapt and yet so full of tension, that it was a pity it had to end at all.

Things do end, though. And buried in Tuesday’s concert at the Appel Room, the weakest of the three evenings only because it featured Mr. Reich’s weaker work, was a farewell. The original incarnation of the JACK Quartet, an indispensable force for musical discovery since its founding in 2007, gave its last New York performance before bidding goodbye to two members who will be succeeded this fall. At least from my seat off to one side, confused electronic sound marred the ensemble’s alert “Triple Quartet” (1998), in which the musicians were part of an Ensemble Signal chamber orchestra of 12 live strings.

The same forces couldn’t rescue the trite “WTC 9/11,” a 2010 work in which string players ape the rhythms and pitches of the voices of air traffic controllers responding to the emergency, and volunteers who sat vigil with the bodies of the Jewish dead. But “Different Trains” (1988), Mr. Reich’s reflection on the Holocaust for quartet and tape, had a brutal propulsion, its imitations of locomotive horns blasting through exuberantly. Quite the way to bow out. - New York Times - David Allen


"New York’s Ultimate Jamband, the Brooklyn Raga Massive Make a Historic Lincoln Center Debut"

There was a point during the Brooklyn Raga Massive‘s Lincoln Center debut last Thursday where violinist Arun Ramamurthy built a solo out of a long, uneasily crescendoing, shivery volley of notes, up to a big crescendo – where he stopped cold, midway through a measure. And then glanced around and smiled for a split second, as if to say, “Good luck following THAT!”

There was another moment earlier on where the entire eight-piece ensemble onstage was basically playing a round, everybody in the band hitting on a different beat, a mesmerizing lattice of kaleidoscopic Indian counterpoint. The group followed an increasingly dark trajectory out of lithely circling improvisation on ancient themes, through a pensive and purposeful Ravi Shankar piece anchored by sitarist Neel Murgai, to an absolutely haunting original by bassist Michael Gam cappped off by an achingly plaintive Aakash Mittal sax solo.

Then there was the longest piece of the night, a trickily rhythmic, vamping, psychedelic epic that evoked the Grateful Dead far more than any Indian classical music. Which was the point of the program. Lincoln Center’s irrepressible, charismatic impresario Meera Dugal had booked members of the group last year for a panel discussion on the future of raga music in America, so this was a chance for the multicultural ensemble to bring that future to life in all its psychedelic glory.

They started slowly and gently, as if to ease the sold-out audience into the concept. Singer Roopa Mahadevan – who may be the most electrifying voice in all of New York – worked her subtle side for all it was worth, with her minutely melismatic take of a raga dedicated to the goddess of knowledge and the arts, Saraswati. Kane Mathis played kora on a blithely dancing number and then switched to oud for the night’s most ominously Middle Eastern-tinged piece, lowlit by Max ZT’s hammered dulcimer, a more trebly cousin to the iconic Indian santoor. After almost two hours onstage, the group closed with a wickedly catchy yet tight-as-a-drum jam on a raga that drummer/tabla player Sameer Gupta told the crowd that they’d recognize instantly. And he was right.

The Brooklyn Raga Massive’s raison d’etre is to use Indian classical music as a stepping-off point for improvisation, be it psychedelically inclined or jazzwise. Here, they shifted through a simmering, atmospherically sunset take of John Coltrane’s India; the week before last, they ably raga-ized jazz material as diverse as McCoy Tyner’s African Village and Thelonious Monk’s Round Midnight at Bric Arts in downtown Brooklyn.

The contingent onstage at Lincoln Center also featured the intricate and energetically eclectic talents of bansuri flutist Jay Gandhi, Karavika bandleader and violinist Trina Basu, acoustic guitarist Camila Celin, handpan percussionist Adam Maalouf and tabla player Ehren Hanson. The collective, with its rotating cast of members and leaders, play every Wednesday at 8 PM at Art Cafe, 884 Pacific St. in the Atlantic Yards area. Cover is $15; take the 2 to Bergen St.

The Lincoln Center Atrium continues to offer all sorts of similarly deep fun. The next show there is tomorrow, Oct 27 at 7:30 PM with Cuatro Sukiyaki Minimal, who play hypnotically circling, pensive Asian and Latin-influenced themes with thumb piano, traditional Japanese instruments and Korean percussion. The multimedia performance is free, so early arrival is always a good idea here. - New York Music Daily


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

"Adam Maalouf and Future Tribe" is an ensemble of global instrumentalists that will transport listeners to a new musical space. Our mission is to bring people together by bridging cultural gaps through the music we create.  

The Tribe's music is found where Maalouf's modern instruments blend with ancient styles of music from around the world. Through the common language that is music, we hope to create an experience where people feel connected.

As a specialist in pantam, cello, & percussion from around the world, Maalouf's unique musical approach is channeled through genre-bending compositions for solo and ensemble. Pantam is the name of the "flying saucer" instrument invented in year 2000, and the word stems from the combination of the Steel Pan from Trinidad and the Ghatam (clay pot drum) from South India. 

Maalouf's music is created live, with a range of master musicians playing Indian Tabla, Arabic Vocal, Bansuri Flute, Middle Eastern Percussion, Guitar, Trumpet, Turkish Oud and Nay. This music can be performed either as solo featuring Adam Maalouf, trio, or large ensemble featuring 6+ musicians. 

Band Members