Layaali is a group whose dedication to Arabic music has earned them wide acclaim from both ethno-musicologists and audiences at sold-out performances throughout the United States and internationally.
The ensemble is committed to performing the traditional music of the Arab world and to preserving the rich legacy of Arabic culture through soulful vocals, hypnotic instrumental improvisations, electrifying percussion, and faithful renditions of master works.
Layaali’s mission is to increase awareness of Arabic music and culture through concerts, recordings, workshops, and lectures. The musicians come from Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Morocco and include: Jamal Sinno (qanun and vocals), Mohammed Mejaour (nay), Boujemaa Razgui (oud and violin), and Michel Moushabeck (percussion). Members of the ensemble have performed at London’s Peacock Theatre, Singapore’s Victoria Theatre, Paris’s La Salle Gaveaux, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Club Passim, The Iron Horse, and churches and universities throughout the world.
Greta Scharnweber, PIER Director, Middle East Studies at Yale Center for International and Area Studies, says of Layalli, “It means so much in these difficult times to be able to stop and enjoy music – to forge a connection with the Arab world that is not tied to political strife and conflict, but instead highlights the artistic passion that is so characteristic of the region. Layaali is a shining example of how to inspire social change through cross-cultural understanding.”
The concert will be held in the museum’s sunken garden at 6:30 pm; picnickers are welcome on the grounds beginning at 5 pm. Admission is $10 for adults, and $2 for children under 16. Wednesday Folk Traditions will continue on August 1 with a rescheduled performance by Gokh-Bi System. Gokh-Bi System plays unique, vibrant music that draws on Senegalese folk influences and contemporary hip-hop.
Wednesday Folk Traditions is funded, in part, by grants from: the Marion I. and Otto C. Kohler Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts; the Hadley Cultural Council, a local agency, supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; and with generous support from many area businesses, including Hadley’s Mountain Farms Mall, Easthampton Savings Bank, and the Walmart Foundation.
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is located at 130 River Drive (Route 47) in Hadley, two miles north of the junction of routes 9 and 47.
The museum is open for guided tours Saturday through Wednesday from 1 to 4:30 pm and by appointment. The museum is closed Thursday and Friday.
For further information about tours and the Wednesday Folk Traditions series call the museum at (413) 584-4699 or visit www.pphmuseum.org.