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November 17,


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East meets West in world music fusion


The Eastman School of Music continues its World Music Series with a performance of Mediterranean music by Israeli musician Eyal Sela and his five-member ensemble Darma on Thursday, November 20. The 8 p.m. show in Kilbourn Hall will offer an eclectic mix of Eastern and Western woodwind instruments, including the Turkish clarinet, Indian bamboo flute, Irish pennywhistle, Norwegian osterdal, and American dudak.

Considered one of the most influential Israeli artists in world music, Sela has performed internationally, including at the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo. Following his classical training at the Music Academy of Tel Aviv University, Sela's interests shifted to the study and performance of ethnic music.

"For me, life in Israel is a daily interaction between different nations, religions, and ethnomusical cultures," says Sela. "This reality offers an opportunity to create a musical mosaic in which the West and the East can live together in peace. That which is different becomes familiar and friendly. I hope that the mosaic that we present to the listener will contribute to the tranquility, color, and joy which is found in the Israeli musical experience created here."

Sela has performed and recorded with leading world music artists such as Israeli oud player/violinist Yair Dalal & Al Ol Ensemble and Palestinian oud player Adel Salameh. He currently teaches Turkish, Balkan, and Indian music at the Music Academy of Jerusalem.

Darma, whose music moves easily from folk melodies to Western jazz, includes guitarist Yossi Ron, who has composed soundtracks for Israeli films, television, theater, and modern dance; Tajik-born Gershon Weiserfirer on oud and jumbush (lutes), who after emigrating to Israel in 1980 studied at the Center of Middle Eastern Music and Dance in Jerusalem and the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music; Noam Topelberg, one of Israel's leading bassists, who has performed with the late Ofra Haza and Ilan Virzberg; and Yenon Muallem on zarb, bendir, and dumbek (Middle Eastern percussion instruments), a performer with the Israeli Andalus Symphony Orchestra and teacher of ethnic music at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv.

Tickets are $12 for the general public and $8 for University faculty, staff, and students with ID. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 232-1900, and in person at the Main Hall of the Eastman School. For more information on the World Music Series, visit

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