Annual Middle Eastern Music Fest Celebrates Flamenco, March 12

By
Allen Bush
February 23, 2012
Middle Eastern Music Festival directors Christiane Karam and Javier Limon.
Berklee's Flamenco and Balkan vocal ensembles will be joined by guest vocalists throughout the concert.
The Middle Eastern Fusion Ensemble features student, faculty, and alumni instrumentalists.
Photo Kelly Davidson
Photo Kelly Davidson
Photo Kelly Davidson

The Signature Series at Berklee continues with the fourth annual Middle Eastern Festival, an event that joins artists from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean with students from all over the world to perform traditional and inspiring music from their homelands. Fifty students will represent Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Russia, Spain, India, Brazil, and South Korea, among other parts of the world.

This year, assistant professor and festival founder Christiane Karam joins forces with Javier Limón, artistic director of Berklee in Valencia's Mediterranean Music Institute and a multi-Grammy and Latin Grammy–winning producer and composer, to present a flamenco-themed festival. 

The annual Middle Eastern Festival takes place on Monday, March 12, 8:15 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center (BPC), 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Tickets are $15, $10 reserved seating. Purchase tickets at berkleebpc.com, call 617 747-2261, or visit the BPC Box Office. The BPC is wheelchair accessible.

Titled "Flamenco Today: A Journey Through Andalusia," this year's event highlights Flamenco music, from its Andalusian roots to current trends, and explores the connections between flamenco, Arabic, Mediterranean, and Balkan music. The program also reflects the journey Gypsies took from India all the way to the Mediterranean. A rehearsal video displays the music and passion of this exciting concert.

Performers include Berklee's Flamenco and Balkan vocal ensembles—both primarily women's choruses—and the Middle Eastern Fusion Ensemble, featuring student and alumni instrumentalists with surprise appearances by internationally acclaimed flamenco artists.

The program will include traditional and contemporary pieces, original arrangements created by the ensemble, and classics by flamenco masters Paco de Lucia and Pepe De Lucia. A special focus will be given to the music of Enrique Morente, who is known for creatively blending Flamenco with other styles.