Baryshnikov Arts Center

Baryshnikov Arts Center Presents

BAC Salon: Tarek Yamani

Afro-Tarab for Two
Apr 18, 2018

“The pianist exploits the most expressive musical idiom of his adopted city (jazz) to explore, transform, transfigure and shed fresh light on the music of his rooted, real homeland.” – Time Out

“A magician with his chromatics and disquieting passing tones.” – New York Music Daily

Critically acclaimed Lebanese-American composer and pianist Tarek Yamani explores classical Arabic music within the frameworks of African-American jazz. The result, a genre often dubbed as "Afro-Tarab," takes audiences on a journey from late 1800's Egypt and Iraq to contemporary New York.

Leadership support for music programming provided by the Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation and the Thompson Family Foundation.


Artist Bio
Tarek Yamani

Tarek Yamani

Tarek Yamani is an Lebanese-American New York-based composer and self-taught jazz pianist. In 2010, he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Composers Competition for his composition Sama'i Yamani featuring Syrian singer Rasha Rizk.

Since the release of his debut Ashur in 2012, Tarek has been dedicated to exploring relationships between African-American Jazz and Arabic rhythms/maqams which are most evident in his second album Lisan Al Tarab: Jazz Conceptions in Classical Arabic. In 2016, Yamani was commissioned by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation to write new work based on the rhythms of the Arabian Gulf. The new work entitled Peninsular was released in March 2017 and had its world premiere at the Abu Dhabi Festival 2017. Yamani has been fortunate to share the stage with luminaries such as Wayne Shorter, Richard Bona, Zakir Hussein, Esperanza Spalding, Antonio Sanchez, and Vinnie Coliauta and has performed in venues such as the United Nations Assemble Hall, Gran Teatro de la Habana, The Smithsonian Institute, MuCEM museum, NYU (Abu Dhabi Festival), The Blue Whale, The Detroit Institute of Arts, and Sunset Sunside. In April 2013, Yamani founded, organized, and produced a cutting edge performance called Beirut Speaks Jazz which aims to promote jazz in Lebanon by igniting adventurous collaborations between artists from the worlds of rock, pop, tarab, rap, and blues over the foundations of jazz. Yamani is the recipient of many awards such as the Givanas Foundation grant, the Huygens scholarship, the Andrea Elkenbracht award, the Prins Bernhard Culture fund, the Thelonious Monk Composers Competition prize, the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency, the New Dutch composition contest, and the Composer's Platform Commission by the Abu Dhabi Festival. He scored the music of I Say Dust, a film by Darine Hotait which screened in over 70 festivals around the world and was shown on BBC, Sundance TV, and AMC Network. As a writer, Yamani has self-published two books: Duple vs Triple: A Melodic Approach to Mastering Polyrhythms in Jazz and other Groove-Based Music and The Percussion Ensemble of the Arabian Peninsula.

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