For 15 years, Gitana Productions has presented an annual “Faces of Love” concert in an effort to bring people together through the power of music, dance or theater. This year’s concert features Al-Andalus, an ensemble that performs music that originated in the Southern part of Spain at a time when Jews, Muslims and Christians lived together peacefully, creating beautiful music together.
The ensemble was founded by oudist and composer Tarik Banzi and flamenco guitarist Julia Banzi. Tarik traces his roots back to Al-Andalus, Spain and grew up in the Andalusian music tradition. Julia moved from the U.S. to Spain and spent more than a decade studying flamenco. She holds the distinction of being one of the few female flamenco guitarists in the world.
The Al-Andalus Ensemble also includes the Moroccan born Razgui Boujemaa who sings and plays ney, kamanja and percussion. Vocalist Emily Miller grew up in Seattle, but studied in the Canary Islands, Cuba and the Dominican Republican.
During the "Faces of Love" concert, the Al-Andalus Ensemble will perform Arabic classical music, traditional Andalusian music, some Sephardic Ladino pieces as well as a number of original contemporary works.
Tarik and Julia Banzi and Gitana Productions Executive Director Cecilia Nadal were Steve Potter’s guests on “Cityscape.” In addition to discussing the history of Al-Andalus and their music, Tarik described and demonstrated the oud, an 11 stringed, pear-shaped instrument that is a predecessor of the mandolin and guitar.
“Music brings people together,” said Julia Banzi. “We want to touch your heads, but also your hearts.”
Gitana Productions' Faces of Love Concert Presents Al-Andalus
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union Blvd.
Gitana Productions Website