Berklee's 4th Annual Middle Eastern Festival Celebrates Flamenco
March 12, 2012
The Signature Series at Berklee continues with the Middle Eastern Festival, an annual 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. In all, 50 students will represent more than 25 countries, including Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Russia, Spain, India, Brazil, and Korea. This year, assistant professor and festival founder Christiane Karam joins forces with Javier Limon, 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 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. 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. About Javier Limón Javier Limón is a Grammy Award– and seven-time Latin Grammy Award–winning composer and producer. Limón's many composition and production credits include major albums with Paco de Lucía, Bebo Valdés, Diego El Cigala, Enrique Morente, Wynton Marsalis, Avishai Cohen, Alicia Keys, and the acclaimed Spanish singer Buika. In 2004, Limón was awarded the Latin Grammy for Producer of the Year for his work on five records: Lágrimas Negras by Diego El Cigala and Bebo Valdés, Cositas Buenasby Paco de Lucía, El Cantante by Andrés Calamaro, El Pequeño Reloj by Enrique Morente, Niño Josele by Niño Josele, and Tributo Flamenco A Don Juan Valderrama by various artists. In 2009, Limón was awarded his first Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album for recording Juntos Para Siempre, a series of father and son piano duets by Bebo and Chucho Valdés. About Christiane Karam Born and raised in war-torn Beirut, Christiane Karam moved to the US to pursue a career in composition and performance. After graduating from Berklee, she went on to earn a masters degree in contemporary improvisation at New England Conservatory. She is the leader and vocalist of the award-winning Boston-based world music band ZilZALA and has performed with the likes of Yanka Rupkina, Jamey Haddad, the Assad Brothers, and Bobby McFerrin, at venues such as Carnegie Hall and Summerstage in New York, and the International House of Music in Moscow. She is also a multi-award winning songwriter.