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Asher Shasho Levy and Aram Soba
August 29, 2018 @ 9:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Oudist and vocalist Asher Shasho Levy and his ensemble of master musicians journey to the essence of the hypnotic traditional music of Syria, with a special focus on the sacred Aramaic, Hebrew, and Judeo-Arabic repertoire of his Aleppan Jewish community. Built around the modes of the classical Arabic maqam, and drawing influences from Andalusian, Ottoman, and Levantine traditions, this deep, mystical music constitutes an ancient, little known, facet of the musical tradition of Syria.
Levy traces his lineage to the Halabi Jewish community of Aleppo Syria, a rich tradition that derives it origin both from Sepharadi Jews of Spanish origin, and Mustarabi Jews who inhabited Syria, according to tradition, since biblical times. Born in Los Angeles into a musical family, from the age of five Levy began proving himself an adept multi-instrumentalist, mastering guitar, keyboards, bass, and mandolin, among other instruments, but the call of the music of his heritage, heard in the synagogue, around the holiday table, and on old records at relatives homes beckoned his soul towards a different form of musical expression. By age twelve he began studying the oud and traditional Halabi music with his father, a learned musician and Rabbi, as well as various elders in the Middle Eastern Jewish community of Los Angeles. He has amassed a formidable repertoire of liturgical music, secular song in Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, and Judeo-Spanish, as well as piyyut, the mystical poetry of the Jewish Middle East. As a member of the diasporic Syrian Jewish community, Asher Shasho Levy seeks to bring the ancient history and vibrant musical and poetic traditions of his now-exiled community into focus as a vital, contemporary musical idiom that speaks to the heart.
Performing with Asher will be:
Jim Grippo-Qanun (Arabic plucked zither)
Jim Grippo has been performing Middle Eastern music on the qanun and oud for 23 years in the UCSB Middle East Ensemble and other professional groups. In Egypt, he learned from masters Hussein Saber (oud) and Alaa Saber (qanun), and performed with sha‘bi wedding bands all over Cairo. Jim earned a BA and MA in ethnomusicology at UCSB, focused on Egyptian popular music, media, and culture. He has several publications based on his research on Egyptian sha‘bi music culture. In addition to being featured as one of the main soloists in the UCSB Middle East Ensemble, Jim also performs with Georges & Elias Lammam, Souren Baronian, Rowan Storm, Afif Taian, Naser Musa, and a myriad of music ensembles in diverse traditions, such as Roma and Balkan. He is also a sought-after recording artist, featured on film, television, and studio albums such as Gorillaz “The Fall,” FX’s “Tyrant,” IMAX “Arabia 3D,” and Fishtank Ensemble “Edge of the World,” to name a few.
Daniel Moltke Mogtaderi is a multicultural world violinist. Before recently returning to Los Angeles, Daniel spent four years studying Arab modal theory under professor Scott Marcus, in addition to leading the strings of the largest Middle Eastern ensemble in the Western Hemisphere. He now performs with a number of professional ensembles, and has traveled around the country to perform as a featured artist, including with Buzzfeed, the Stanford Middle East Ensemble, the UC Santa Barbara Middle East Ensemble, Layali Zaman Academy Orchestra, the Los Angeles Arabic Orchestra, and for numerous world-famous famous bellydancers.
Jay Levy-Harmonium, Bouzouki, Baglama, Backing Vocals
Rabbi Jay Shasho Levy, is a descendant of Spanish Jews who left Spain at the time of the inquisition and then travelled to Aleppo Syria, Cuba, Argentina, and America. As a writer, producer, musician, he has worked with a broad spectrum of artists including Melba Moore, Buck Owens, Sister Sledge. Stephen Stills, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless, Ray Charles, Mary J. Blige et al.
He is a multi-instrumentalist, playing harmonium, bouzouki, baglama, and many other instruments from around the world. He is thrilled to be working with his son Asher in presenting the music of Aram Soba.
Jamie Papish-Arabic Percussion
Over the past 20 years, Jamie Papish has made a name for himself in the Los Angeles World Music Scene as a passionate percussionist of ethnic hand drum styles of the Middle East, Iran, North Africa, Eastern Europe & the Balkans. He maintains an active performance and recording schedule as an original member of the critically acclaimed Yuval Ron Ensemble, The Chloe Pourmorady Ensemble, Asher Levy & Aram Soba, The Aegea Ensemble, Mahadev & Raw Chili as well as numerous other Los Angeles based world music ensembles. Jamie’s percussion is on over 100 tracks of released music including Floodplain by The Kronos Quartet. Visit http://jamiepapishmusic.com