Ivri-NASAWI and Levantine Center


A Concert for Peace with Yair Dalal
and guest artist Houman Pourmehdi

a portion of proceeds benefits Open Tent Middle East Coalition's
international conference for peace on May 20, 2001 at UCLA: "The Israeli/Palestinian Crisis: New Conversations for a Pluralist Future"

A composer, violinist and master on the 'ud in the Iraqi/Israeli tradition, "Yair Dalal takes you on a captivating journey," says the Jerusalem Post.  As a soloist and star of the Al Ol Ensemble, Yair Dalal is a leading figure on the Israeli scene and a mover-and-shaker in world music. He has performed with many international musicians, including Zubin Mehta, Hamza El Din, Jordi Savall and is featured on the upcoming CD "One" with Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Haim Louk, Nabil Azzam and other Middle Eastern stars, Jews, Muslims and Christians.

Born of Iraqi parents, Dalal devotes his talent (oud, violin, voice) to reinvigorating Eastern Jewish musical traditions in Israel and abolishing ideological barriers between Jews and Arabs.  He was a featured performer at the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize Gala Concert honoring the late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yassir Arafat.  Dalal frequently forms musical partnerships with international musicians of diverse ethnic backgrounds, and appears on the forthcoming recording ìOneî with Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Rabbi Haim Louk and Nabil Azzam.  Yair Dalal previously enlivened local music lovers at the Skirball Cultural Center during the Sephardic Arts Festivals of 1997 and 2000.  He refers to the Middle Eastern music he performs as ìa route of brotherhood between peoples living in the region because peace is the most precious merchandise of all." His most recent CD is ìPerfume Road.î

A top-10 favored percussionist of world music critics, Houman Pourmehdi is a cofounder of the Lian Ensemble and a master of daf and tombak.  His Persian and Middle Eastern repertoire includes Sufi music and a variety of world music styles.  He performed on ìSyncopationî with percussive master John Bergamo, and has recorded ìQuest,î ìThe Name of The Belovedî and ìBanquet in the Tavern of Ruin.î

Latest CD by Yair Dalal Continues in the Spirit of Shlomo Bar's Habrera HaTivit

Mizrahi music, after years of being banished  to Israeli bus stops and border towns, is alive and well, thriving all over Israel these days, and much of the movement to celebrate this Arab/Muslim and Jewish cultural heritage finds its roots in the early work of Moroccan-born Israeli
composer and vocalist Shlomo Bar. The latest CD, "Perfume Road" by Yair Dalal and the Al Ol Ensemble, is the kind of music which is guaranteed to grow on you. I played the first piece, "El Halidg," (The Persian Gulf) over and over, wondering at Dalal's use of string and wind instruments, and how the sounds move from the Middle East to India and back, sometimes reminding one, in the plaintive use of the clarinet, of the Eastern European Jewish experience. Much of the spirit of this recording explores the trajectory of the Bedouins, with whom Dalal has studied and played (his last U.S. appearance took place at the Skirball in August). Dalal describes these nomads as the Nabateans and tells of their lives along the Perfume Road. "Peace does not yet reign in the Middle East," he writes in the liner notes, "and a complete journey along the Perfume Road from the shores of the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean coast remains a utopian dream. However, the Perfume Road can be transformed into a Peace Road, a route of brotherhood between peoples living in the region because PEACE is the most precious merchandise of all."

Dalal performs in the March 2001 Jewish Music Festival in the Bay Area, and appears in Los Angeles for an exclusive engagement at the Morgan Wixon Theatre.--Jordan Elgrably

Pecussionist Houman Pourmehdi was recently voted one of the top 10 percussionists in the world!  A master percussionist from Iran, he is well known for his diverse abilities as a musician, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. Performing and recording in numerous ensembles and at a variety of  venues, his interest in the spiritual path of Sufis introduced him to the Ghaderi Sufi orderís virtuoso Daf players, such as Haj Agha Sadeghi, Mirza Agha Ghosi, and Darvish Karim, with whom he studied the heart-to-heart traditional techniques of playing daf.  Houman is both a recording artist and concert musician. Houman was a principal player in the 1998 disc called Quest. The Name of The Beloved in 1999, and Banquet in the Tavern of Ruin in 1999. He also performs on Syncopation, an album of two percussive masters, with Master John Bergamo and finally Dar Shekarestan in 2000. Along with several colleagues he founded Liän Ensemble. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he teaches Tonbak, Daf, Ney and pursues his own studies in world music.
Houman Pourmehdi 
Yair Dalal