York Noor Lecture series presents a musical journey back in time

The York Noor Lecture Series will present two New York City ensembles, Tarab and Gazpacho Andalu, on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 7:30pm.

Co-sponsored by York University and the Noor Cultural Centre, this latest presentation in the York Noor Lecture Series is titled "New Andalucia: Re-encounter of Flamenco and Arab Music".

Tarab is an Arab ensemble while Gazpacho Andalu is a Flamenco group, both based in New York. The groups are working to reconnect two musical styles 13 centuries after the Arabs crossed the Gibraltar to Iberia in 711 AD. At that time, great minds, ideas and art crossed back and forth to create a rich cultural and intellectual mix that transcended the boundaries of religion, ethnicity and language. The Tarab and Gazpacho Andalu ensembles are hoping to recreate the spirt and history of this sharing of culture and art despite current anti-immigration sentiment and the US war on terror.

The two ensembles are now bringing their musical styles to Toronto with vocals, flute and cajon by Alfonso Mogaburo; guitar by Arturo Martinez; vocals and dance by Barbara Martinez; vocals, oud and percussion by Taoufiq Ben Amor; and violin and oud by DaferTawil.

Tarab, founded in 1998, performs instrumental and vocal classical Arabic music with an emphasis on the Andalusi Mawashah and Sufi repertoire. It also explores traditional folk music from various regions of the Arabic world.

Gazpacho Andalu, a project put together by several New York City composers and songwriters, creates a more accessible style of Flamenco for those who love the groove and soulful qualities of the music. The group does this by combining the rhythms and textures of North African, Caribbean and Hispanic American music. Gazpacho Andalu also puts a strong emphasis on the music’s poetry, often reciting translations of lyrics to demonstrate that Flamenco music is more than just a dance form.

The concert will take place this Saturday, at the Noor Cultural Centre, 123 Wynford Drive (DVP and Eglinton). Tickets are $15 and $10 for students, at the door.