CCV: Cultural Constructions Spring 2005

Diverse Voices of Islam

Spring 2005 Cultural Constructions Ensemble
Clockwise from top left: Boubacar Diabate, Tanya Mohammad Jacobs, Abdul-Wahab Kayyali, Raqib Hassan
photo credit: Michael McLaughlin, except Raqib Hassan photo by Lisa Gold


Saturday, June 11th, 2005 at 8pm
The Boston Creative Music Alliance (BCMA) presents:
Cultural Constructions V: Diverse Voices of Islam
Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Theater
955 Boylston Street, Boston
MBTA Green Line: Hynes/ICA
General admission is $10
Tickets available at Twisted Village or (617) 354-6898

Boubacar Diabate, guitar and voice (Mali); Tanya Mohammad Jacobs, voice (Pakistan/Kuwait); Abdul-Wahab Kayyali, oud (Jordan); Raqib Hassan, tenor saxophone and double-reeds(USA)

Media Contact for Cultural Constructions V:
Scott Menhinick, Improvised Communications
(617) 489-6561

On Saturday, June 11th, the Boston Creative Music Alliance (BCMA) will present Cultural Constructions V: Diverse Voices of Islam, the fifth in a series of semi-annual concerts that bring together four local musicians, representing a variety of cultures and musical traditions, to create a new multicultural ensemble. This season's concert challenges the sociopolitical realities of post-9/11 America by offering a sample of the rich variety of the Islamic world's cultural and musical traditions.

The event's performers will include Malian guitarist/vocalist Boubacar Diabate, Pakistani vocalist Tanya Mohammad Jacobs, award-winning Oud player Abdul-Wahab Kayyali, and multi-instrumentalist and Interdimensional Science Research Orchestra founder Raqib Hassan. Individually representing West African Griot storytelling, Pakistani Ghazal singing, traditional Arabic string music and Sufism-inspired free improvisation, these musicians will come together as a group to perform new collectively composed and arranged works in the spirit of deeper understanding.

Founded in May 2003, and funded with support from the LEF Foundation and the Berklee College of Music Alumni Grant Program, Cultural Constructions is curated by Boston-area composer/musicians Ellen Band, Ken Field (co-director), Tom Hall, Jonathan LaMaster, Michael McLaughlin (co-director), and Dennis Warren, along with BCMA Artistic Director, Ed Hazell. The series has been profiled in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and Weekly Dig, and is widely recognized for bringing together musicians with strong ties to both Boston as well as a wide range of cultures and musical genres. Past participants have represented ethnic Andalusian, Chinese, Jewish, Latino and Turkish traditions, as well as musical styles including bluegrass, free jazz, hip hop, and world music among many others.

About Boubacar Diabate
Boubacar Diabate was born in Bamako, the capital city of West Africa's Republic of Mali, where he began to play both the Djembe and the Doun-Doun (traditional West African drums) at the age of 5. Also a talented singer, songwriter and guitarist, he has spent much of his life sharing the history of his Malian culture through drumming and song as a traditional Griot musician. Now living in Boston, Bouba (as he is known here in New England) leads his own group, Samba Lolo, and regularly collaborates with Mohamed Kalifa Kamara, Moussa Traore and Mohamed "Joh" Camara's Jama Jigi. He can also be found weekly at the Dance Complex in Cambridge, drumming for classes taught by Fatou N'Diaye-Davis and Seydou Coulibaly, and at the Brazilian Cultural Center of New England.

About Tanya Mohammad Jacobs
Vocalist Tanya Mohammad Jacobs is known for her ability to reinvent traditional music from a wide variety of countries and cultures, especially music related to her Pakistani and Portuguese heritage. She arranges traditional Indian music with her group Sangeet, sings traditional Pakistani love songs with Ghazals, interprets French Chansons with Les Gitanes, and performs Brazilian music in a duo with guitarist Jonah Kraut and with her trio featuring cellist Ethan Philbrick and violinist Brigid McCarthy. She is also a guest soloist with the Boston-based Balkan brass band, Smackin' the Brazz. Ms. Jacobs has been a featured performer at the Berklee Performance Center, Jordan Hall, Zeitgeist Gallery, The Western Front, Artist's at Large Gallery, the Carriage House Concert Series in Waltham, and the Framingham Family Festival.

About Abdul-Wahab Kayyali
Abdul-Wahab Kayyali was born in Beirut, Lebanon to a Jordanian family of Palestinian origin. He began studying the Oud in 1989 at the National Music Conservatory in Amman, Jordan, under the tutelage of Sakher Hattar, and performed with the Arabic Music Ensemble of the Conservatory at festivals across the Middle East. He was also mentored by renowned Iraqi Oud virtuoso Munir Bashir, considered one of the great Arab musicians of the 20th century. Kayyali was awarded First Prize and Best String Performer honors at the 2000 Young Musicians of the Gulf Competition in Manama, Bahrain, and has performed several times in the Boston area, mostly as part of Arabesque Mondays at the legendary Club Passim in Cambridge.

About Raqib Hassan
Suntologist Raqib Hassan is a Sufi Dervish of the Nimatullahi order and player of a flotilla of double-reed instruments from around the world, in addition to tenor saxophone. He studied music theory and harmony with saxophonist Bill Thomson and further theoretical studies with saxophonist/composer Archie Shepp and legendary music educator Roland Wiggins. He worked in New York with bass violinist Hakim Jami and percussionist Rashied Ali, and produced the series of Sun Ra memorial concerts here in Boston with his Interdimensional Science Research Orchestra. He is currently producing music on his independent label, African Universal Sun Music (AUSM) Recordings.