Veteran NPR/PRI journalist Sandy Tolan, the critically-acclaimed author of The Lemon Tree, brings us another true story of hope in the Palestinian-Israeli impasse. His newest book, Children of the Stone, The Power of Music in a Hard Land, chronicles a young violinist—Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan—who escapes a Palestinian refugee camp and later returns to fulfill his dream: establishing a music school for Palestinians living under military occupation. Join Tolan for a moving conversation about how a love of music transforms and empowers lives in a war-torn land. Signed and discounted books available. Café open 7:00-9:30 pm, event at 7:30 pm.
Traditionally in Morocco the Jewish Moroccans would celebrate Pesach or Passover culiminating in Mimouna, which is like the Rite of Spring (in Iran it's called Nowruz or new year). Prior to the last day of Pesach and the Mimouna celebration, they observe the holiday for a week, and do not eat bread or anything with yeast (thus, no cake, beer etc). At the end of the Passover holiday, everybody gets together to celebrate. Moroccan Muslim neighbors come over with flour, sugar and other ingredients, to make mofletas (large homemade donuts). There is a celebratory table—quite similar to the Iranian Zoroastrian Nowruz table setting, or Haftsin—with items representing the Spring and abundance, like pomegranates, a whole fish, chocolate coins, sweets, fruit and more. Read more about the traditional Mimouna.
Traditional attire welcome (optional), also a full selection of Hamsa (Hand of Fatima) and other evil eye jewelry from Gulnur. Moroccan catering by Bouchra Azizy.
Mimouna: Moroccan Festival is an occasion for us all to be Moroccans, for Arabs, Arab Jews, Jews and their friends to celebrate together. Enjoy the beautiful dance of the striking Rosa Rojas and her group Guedra, with the authentic gnawa music of Youssef Iferd and guest performer Fella Oudane. Everything is included in the price of the ticket: live music, dance, Mimouna table, mofletas, sweets, Moroccan tea and good fortune for the year!
Expect a rich and evocative evening of poetry and music from two Lebanese American artists at the top of their form, when poet/performance artist/playwright Elmaz Abinader makes her debut at the Levantine Center. She will be joined by returning musician-vocalist Tony Khalife and master percussionist Alex Spurkel. Elmaz Abinader's new collection of poetry, This House, My Bones, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. "Elmaz Abinader is a poet fiercely committed to the world's beauty, to history, to lost voices and the people she loves." —David Mura
Says Patricia Smith (winner of the 2013 Lenore Marshal Poetry Prize) "This House, My Bones is a gorgeously scripted chronicle that probes the collective heart and the countries we inhabit when we dare to speak out loud. There's an insistent rhythm in these stanzas, a lyricism of light and lineage stamped with the undeniable signature of a poet at the height of her craft. Savor these poems, and be lifted by their music." More about This House, My Bones. Listen to the poet. Listen to the music. More tunes.
Tickets $18 general, $15 members, $12 students. Seating limited, RSVPs strongly advised, call 323.413.2001.
Levantine Cultural Center presents for the first time in Los Angeles, Ramy Essam live in concert and a public conversation. Essam is the Egyptian revolutionary rocker whose song "Irhal" contributed to the uprising that drove Hosni Mubarak from power, and who is featured in Jehane Noujaim's acclaimed documentary, The Square. He's recognized as perhaps the single most important musical artist of the Arab Spring.
This month Essam will undertake his first North American tour, with stops in NYC, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver. His show at the Levantine Center will mark a landmark appearance at the Levantine Center. "I have known of the work of the Levantine Center even from Egypt, and I can't imagine any other place to make my first West Coast concert than with them," Essam declared when the concert was confirmed. This will truly be a special event and Essam will perform not only his revolutionary hits, but also newly written and recorded material dealing with the student protests and ongoing harassment, jailings and worse of revolutionary activists, including many of his friends. He will also talk about his experiences the last three years and what he sees as the best path forward for Egypt in this difficult period. Listen/watch Ramy Essam on YouTube.
Deep Soul is an intimate evening of soulful Kurdish and Mizrahi music with Kurdish master musician Delil Dilanar (Voice, Duduk, Tambour) in a rare Los Angeles appearance with Yuval Ron (Oud, Saz and vocals) and Jamie Papish on percussion. This concert in a poetic spirit includes lyrics in Kurdish, Hebrew and Arabic and is dedicated to a more pacific Middle East.
Presented by the Levantine Cultural Center, with media support from KPFK Pacifica radio, 90.7 FM, and Niroj Levantine Cuisine, Deep Soul takes place at the Westwood Hills Congregational Church, 1989 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90025. Free lot and street parking. Tickets $20 General Admission, $30 Preferred Reserved seating, $25 day-of/at the door.
Seating is limited, advance purchase advised, call 323.413.2001.
Come participate in a dynamic Middle East rhythm and drum circle, facilitated by percussion expert Rowan Storm, Saturday from 1:30 -4:00 pm, July 5, 2014. Beginners welcome. For all ages. Family friendly. Various hand drums and percussion provided, or bring your own. Info/reservations 323.413.2001 or just show up. Grab a drum or bring your own and join the fun! Visit carpetconcert.com or rowanstorm.com.
Suggested contribution for two hours is $20.
Come participate in a dynamic Middle East rhythm and drum circle, facilitated by percussion expert Rowan Storm, Saturday from 1:30 -3:30 pm, June 14, 2014. Beginners welcome. For all ages. Family friendly. Various hand drums and percussion provided, or bring your own. Info/reservations 323.413.2001 or just show up. Grab a drum or bring your own and join the fun! Visit carpetconcert.com or rowanstorm.com.
Suggested contribution for two hours is $20.
On Saturday, June 21st, the Levantine Cultural Center will officially celebrate the 13th anniversary of our founding (first public program presented at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on June 23, 2001) with a diverse evening of music, comedy, poetry and more. Performers include the popular group Bedouin X (Arabic and North African music) along with musicians Rowan Storm, Jim Grippo, Dann Torres, Kutsal and Yuval Ron. Comedians Omar Elba and Omid Singh will also perform. A delicious meal of Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine will be served.
Minimum per person donation of $50/up includes dinner, one drink and performances, or attend after 9 pm, no dinner, with minimum $25 donation. With a donation of $100/up per person, the evening includes performances, dinner, reserved seating, open bar, and a special gift.
Seating is limited, reservations, info: 323.413.2001.
Make a contribution toward our mural project 99 Heroes of the Middle East Mural or to create a new Fellowship or Internship on behalf of a needy undergrad or grad student. Contribute to keep the Levantine Cultural Center strong.
The Levantine Cultural Center was founded in June 2001, with a simple mission: to unite the diverse Arab/Middle Eastern populations in Los Angeles - whether they be Moroccan, Iranian, Syrian, Yemeni, or anything in between. In our unity, we would have a place to raise our voices, share our culture (and food!) and come together as a single community. On September 11, 2001, that need became even starker and clearer. We have served the diverse people - Arab and non - of Los Angeles for almost thirteen years, promoting understanding and tolerance through art, music, political forums, and film. We have done a great deal to be proud of, and on an exceedingly modest budget.
While we are celebrating our 13th anniversary, the Levantine Cultural Center has so much more to accomplish, so much more good to do. We are only at the beginning of our work. That's why we ask for your ongoing support.
Give us a chance to continue the work. And enjoy some of our favorite performers and oldest supporters.
Other June events include the wrap-up of our critically-acclaimed exhibit, The Map is Not the Territory, and the opening of Local Not Local—a exhibition of Arabic and Persian typography, and a new Sultans of Satire show on June 27—because we're big believers in the power of laughter and stories.
Come participate in a dynamic Middle East rhythm and drum circle, facilitated by percussion expert Rowan Storm, Saturday from 1:30 -3:30 pm, April 12, 2014 (and second Saturdays in May and June). Beginners welcome. For all ages. Family friendly. Various hand drums and percussion provided, or bring your own. Info/reservations 323.413.2001 or just show up. Grab a drum or bring your own and join the fun! Visit carpetconcert.com or rowanstorm.com.
Suggested contribution for two hours is $20.
We are pleased to present two amazing African maestros, each with their own ensembles, from Zimbabwe and Senegal respectively, mbira master Musekiwa Chingodza and kora master Amadou Fall, who performs with his band, Seneafrica, in a rare African world music concert at the Levantine Cultural Center. Enjoy powerful, intimate performances in a warm, atmosphere surrounded by art, books and colors of the Middle East and North Africa. Tickets for this exclusive presentation are $20. Seating is limited and advance reservations are strongly suggested. Moroccan and Syrian cuisine is available.
Musekiwa Chingodza was born into a family of great mbira players in Mwangara village, Murewa, Zimbabwe. He says, "Our music is both medicine and food, as mbira has the power to heal and to provide for people."
"Synergy! Amadou Fall mesmerizes playing the African Kora."