Public radio from Western Michigan University 102.1 NPR News | 89.9 Classical WMUK
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

Concert preview: Master oud player Rahim AlHaj returns to Connecting Chords Music Festival

Oud player Rahim ElHaj
Douglas Kent Hall
Oud player Rahim ElHaj

The Rahim AlHaj Trio will present an afternoon of music for oud, santour and Middle Eastern percussion for the Connecting Chords Music Festival at 4 pm on Sunday, Oct 15 at Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College. Although the lute-like instrument has a 5,000 year history, and AlHaj is steeped in the classical and folk music of his native Iraq, he is also a composer who responds to his experiences with new works. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance and Beau Bothwell, board president for the festival, musicology professor at Kalamazoo College and an accomplished oud player himself, AlHaj talks about the oud and his history with it. He also introduces the other players of his group: santour player Sourena Sefati and percussionist Javier Saume Mazzei.

AlHaj left Iraq after the Saddam Hussein regime sent him to prison. During his visit, he will talk to young people living at the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home.

Beau Bothwell talks about a revival of a community orchestra for Middle Eastern music, based at Kalamazoo College, called the Bayati Ensemble. It will begin meeting on Tuesday nights in January. Anyone with an interest is welcome to join.

Tickets and more information is available at the Connecting Chords Music Festival website.

Cara Lieurance is the local host of NPR's All Things Considered on 1021 WMUK and covers local arts & culture on Let's Hear It on 89.9 Classical WMUK weekday mornings at 10 - 11 am.