Performance: Indianapolis Artsgarden

Carenza and il Troubadore

Carenza bint Asya (u.l.) with il Troubadore: Robert Bruce Scott (u.r.) & Jon Silpayamanant (bottom)

If you are reading this, it’s because it was written earlier today and set to future post as I will be performing at the Indianapolis Artsgarden in Indianapolis when this autoposts.  The group I’ll be playing with is one I co-founded with vocalist and mandolinist, Robert Bruce Scott, in May of 2004, il Troubadore.

We’ll be performing with one of our most frequent and long term collaborators bellydancer, Carenza bint Asya, in one of the coolest venues in Indianapolis.  Basically, it’s a giant glass dome settled above Washington and Illinois Street in downtown Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Artsgarden provides a magnificent environment for more than 300 free performances and exhibits each year. The Artsgarden also houses the Cultural Concierge, a centralized source for free maps, ticket information, visitor guides, directions and more for Indianapolis arts events. The facility is available for rental to non-profit, corporate and government organizations, as well as for wedding receptions. Owned and operated by the Arts Council of Indianapolis, this seven-story-tall glass enclosed structure offers a spectacular view of the city.

Built in 1995, the Indianapolis Artsgarden stands 17 feet above the intersection of Washington and Illinois streets and connects to the Embassy Suites complex, the Conrad Hotel, and Circle Centre Mall. It is linked by the indoor skywalk to the Hyatt Regency, Canterbury, Omni, Westin, Marriott and the Indianapolis Convention Center.

Indianapolis Artsgarden

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Thursday Rehearsal Reflections: Ahel El Nagam

Ahel El Nagam

Ahel El Nagam performing at Shiraz Mediterranean Grill in Louisville 24 July 2009

Tonight I’ll be rehearsing with one of my other bands, Ahel El Nagam (yes, the website is very much in need of updating–I’ll get to that when I have a chance-hah!).  We bill ourselves as Louisville’s Classical Arabic Band as most of our repertoire consists of, well, Classical Egyptian tunes as well as a number of folk and traditional tunes from Turkey, Armenia, Iraq, Andalusia, Israel and other countries and regions from the Middle East.  Ahel El Nagam means, roughly, “People of the Tune.”

The group formed sometime in the middle of 2007 and I believe my first performance with them was sometime during the Spring of 2008.  At it’s formation the group was four members strong with an instrumentation that ranged from oud, tabla (Egyptian tabla), flute/bellydance, electric sitar/mandolin.  The first couple of shows I played with them (with cello) we had a five member group.

Sadly, we’ve slowly lost “full time” members as folks move on, or move out of the area, or whatever.  The majority of the shows we’ve played the past couple of years have been pretty much what you see in the photo above, me on tabla (or cello) and Denise on oud (or tabla/riqq).  We’d both been far too busy the past few months to rehearse much less play a show, though with some upcoming gigs in the works we’re getting together for the first time since last fall (I believe). Continue reading

Zorba's Valentine's Day Hafla

This is a prewritten post as I will be performing at a hafla at Zorba’s Greek and Middle Eastern Restaurant with il Troubadore. If any readers are so inclined then please come to the show for live bellydancing by one of Zorba’s house dancers, Ja’Niesa, and live world music as only il Troubadore can present. On top of that, enjoy fine mediterranean cuisine as only Zorba’s can provide (please call in advance for reservations).

Show info follows:

Zorba’s Valentine’s Day Hafla
30 North Main Street
Zionsville, IN 46077
(317) 733-0633

Zorba’s opens at 5:00pm
music begins at 6:00pm and ends at 9:00pm (or later depending)
The event is free and all-ages appropriate

Issa Mustaklem's Birthday Hafla

il Troubadore, Ja'Niesa, and members of the Ball State University Bellydance Club at Issa Mustaklem's Birthday Hafla (2009 January 23)