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Middle East Music


In 2016, I joined the UCSB middle east ensemble, playing a variety of percussion instruments under the guidance of Professor Scott Marcus, the director of the ensemble and Sue Rudnicki, the director of the percussion section.

The UCSB Middle East Ensemble is an official “Ethnomusicology Performance Ensemble” in the UCSB Music Department. Founded in 1989 by ethnomusicology Professor Scott Marcus, the Ensemble’s repertoire reflects the great diversity of cultures found in the Middle East. The ensemble performs music and dance from Arab, Turkish, Persian, Armenian, Greek, Sephardic and Oriental Jewish, Kurdish, and Assyrian cultures. Performance items range from classical pieces to religious, folk, popular, and children’s songs, as well as folk, classical, and cabaret-style dances.

As a core member of the percussion section, I have mainly played the darbuka, frame drum, Persian daf, mazhar, tambourine, and tombak.   

Below are links to some of my performances with the ensemble.

Celebrating 50 years of Aghadan Alqāk (Will I see you tomorrow). Sung by Umm Kulthum, the most famous Arab singer of the 20th century and composed by Muhammad 'Abd al-Wahhab, the 20th century's most famous Arab composer. 

UCSB Middle East Ensemble winter 2023 concert. Featuring a persian set, a Kurdish song from Iraq/Iran, dances from Egypt, Greece and more.

UCSB Middle East Ensemble spring 2023 concert. Including songs by the renowned Syrian singer Sabah Fakhri (1933 – 2021) and a second set of songs by the Lebanese superstar Fairouz (b. 1935).

UCSB Middle East Ensemble fall 2022 concert. Including two songs by the superstar Umm Kulthum, two Kurdish songs, an extended belly dance solo and more.

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