Join the Queens Museum’s New New Yorkers Program in a multi-session interactive workshop on the music of Syria and Egypt.
The class will survey some of the great musicians of the last century, styles and musical genres, as well as offering some cultural and historical context. Participants will learn to sing both folk and classical songs, as well as get a taste of improvisation. Students of any level and musical ability are welcome, as Sami guides students in an easy-to-follow call-and-response format. The rich melodic tradition known as maqam (an amazingly complex system of scales and melodic phrases analogous to the Indian Raga system) will be made accessible, and participants will learn to distinguish the different moods that the music evokes.
Over the course of this 8-week series, Sami will bring a guest percussionist to one session, who will demonstrate and teach the rhythmic patterns used. He will also bring a Belly-dance instructor to another session, to teach participants some of the basics of this beautiful dance form that is so misunderstood in the West. The final session will also involve a discussion of early Syrian immigration to the U.S., with other guest artists. This workshop will take place at Queens Museum and Immigrant Movement International.
Sami Abu Shumays is a multi-faceted artist, teacher, scholar, and arts administrator. He is a vocalist and violinist performing the music traditions of Egypt and Syria. As a teacher and scholar he has led workshops around the U.S. in Arab music (most recently at Creative Alliance in Baltimore), published on maqam, and developed unique online resources for learning Arab music at maqamlessons.com (he is also a contributor to maqamworld.com).
At the Queens Museum
April 17, 24
At Immigrant Movement International
May 8, 15, 22
Final presentation and panel in the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum
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