Music and song from al-Andalus and North Africa in NYC

Et Dodim Kalah_ (It’s the Time of Courting, O Bride!)
Come hear The New York Andalus Ensemble
Thursday, October 30, 2014
7:30 PM
Elebash Recital Hall, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave. (at 34th St.)

The New York Andalus Ensemble will present _Et Dodim Kalah_ (It’s the Time of Courting, O Bride!), an
evening of music and song from al-Andalus and North Africa.

TIckets: $13 adults/$10 students, available at the door or at

In al-Andalus (Southern Spain), peoples of the three Abrahamic faiths—Islam,
Judaism, and Christianity—shared their arts and sciences for more than five hundred
years, creating a multicultural canon of music and poetry. Since 1492, Jews and
Muslims in North Africa have carried the musical traditions forward from al-Andalus.
Today, the musical expansion from over five centuries ago to the present day
flourishes in New York City with the New York Andalus Ensemble. Reflecting the
cultural pluralism that characterizes this music, the ensemble sings in Arabic,
Hebrew, and Ladino, emphasizing the expressive quality of the region’s shared
tradition while cherishing the individual cultures that comprise it.

“You won’t want to miss the chance to see such a diverse and versatile group.”
—Spain Culture, New York

The New York Andalus Ensemble is led by ethnomusicologist and performer Dr. Samuel
R. Thomas. As an artist and scholar for over fifteen years, his work centers on
musical cultures of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as jazz traditions and
American popular genres. Dr. Thomas lectures on topics including Muslim-Jewish
confluences in music, philosophy, and poetics, and diaspora studies. Dr. Thomas is
also artistic director of the critically acclaimed ensemble ASEFA.

New York Andalus Ensemble – Mission Statement

The mission of this ensemble is to bring together participants from varied
backgrounds to experience the rich and varied cultures of the Maghreb and al-Andalus
through musical study and expression.

For centuries, religion has played an integral part of life in this region.
Therefore, several of the ensemble’s sung texts have embedded references to
religious ideas—primarily from Islam and Judaism—because they cannot be separated
from the cultural life of the people. However, texts that promote a particular
religious ideology or modern political agenda will be avoided. In learning these
songs, we are not promoting any particular religion, religious agenda, or political
persuasion. We want room for what is part of the culture of the region to come
through as a learning experience. The NYAE comprises individuals who understand this
mission and can appreciate it. We welcome you in learning about the musical
traditions of the Maghreb and al-Andalus, and in the opportunity to share this
illustrious culture with many people.

The New York Andalus Ensemble is co-sponsored by the Foundation for Iberian Music,
the Music Programs of the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, the Middle
Eastern-Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC), the American Sephardi Federation,
JAMs, and the Institute of Sephardic Studies.