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Quatrain feat. Haytham Safia

Improvised Music Company & Mermaid Arts Centre Present

A project in four parts from Francesco Turrisi’s Tarab Ensemble

“Some of the most enchanting music I have heard this year.”- The Irish Times

“One can only hope that a group as good as this gets the wider exposure it surely deserves. ”- All About Jazz

Francesco Turrisi - accordion, harmonium, percussion
Nick Roth - saxophones, flutes

Emer Mayock-flutes, whistles, pipes, fiddle
Robbie Harris - bodhran, percussion

Kate Ellis – cello

With special guest:

From Palestine, Haytham Safia – oud

Francesco Turrisi presents this latest evolution of his Tarab ensemble, which has become eloquent in its linking of modal jazz to traditional music from across Europe. Over the course of 2010, the group takes on a major project and will come together as ensemble in residence in Bray’s Mermaid Arts Centre. They’ll devise new music over four cycles, each with a very special guest artist, starting in the spring with Iranian tombak master Pedram Khavar- Zamini and Palestinian oud player Haytham Safia, with a July visit from Bulgarian virtuoso of the kaval Theodossii Spassov, and an appearance by the masterful Greek singer Savina Yannatou to round off proceedings next November.

For his part Turrisi, a Milan native, has made a real impression since moving to Ireland, bringing a fresh perspective informed by his background in Italian baroque music and jazz piano. In Tarab he performs on accordion and frame drums, and convincingly bridges traditional music from around the Mediterranean in a band that also includes saxophonist Nick Roth and cellist Kate Ellis. Their jazz and classical backgrounds are finely countered by traditional flautist Emer Mayock who, along with percussionist Robbie Harris, brings an innate understanding of melody and form in Irish music. Turrisi directs proceedings with taste and subtlety throughout, deftly balancing these powerful elements to harmonious effect.

More about Tarab from Francesco Turrisi

The Arabic word "Tarab" describes a state of ecstasy and surrender one enters while listening to music with body and soul. When I created the ensemble Tarab in 2007 I imagined a connection between my southern Italian and Mediterranean origins and my musical journey and experience as a jazz musician. Following a successful Deis funded project in 2008 called Diwan Eireann, Tarab has evolved into a project that aims to create an imaginary link between aesthetic elements of Mediterranean music and the Irish instrumental and vocal tradition. Starting from common elements such as similar instrumentation, ornamentation and performance, Tarab develops new musical language based on improvisation, instrumental virtuosity and exciting rhythms.

About Haytham Safia

Jerusalem-born Haytham Safia developed a passion for the Oud at an early stage. In 2001 he made his debut as a performer in The Netherlands, working with the musical ensemble accompanying the Galili Dance Group who have since toured throughout Europe. In 2002 he graduated with distinction at the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem.

He has since worked with Joshua Samson and Tony Overwater performing at the Cultura Nova Festival in Heerlen; the Lute Festival in Utrecht, before playing as a soloist with the Holland Symphonia in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Haytham Safia is the quintessential classical Arabic musician, but breaking the mould with influences as diverse as Persian, Balkan and jazz music.

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