Led by oudist Tarik Banzi, the Al-Andalus Ensemble is internationally known for a creative fusion which etches a fine line between the exquisite and raw, the passionate and powerful while treating the listener to a confluence of the best of the East and West. These sophisticated artists with extraordinary breadth and creativity soulfully merge classical, jazz and contemporary music with musical traditions from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Thus embodying the new vision of America as a modern society that embraces its cosmopolitan cultural heritage.
Charting new terrain with Grammy Award winning violinist, Charlie Bisharat, and Emily Miles (vocals) this contemporary World-chamber ensemble of oud, violin, voice and guitar moves with grace between the classical and the modern, subtly weaving tradition with sophisticated innovation into an energetic musical tapestry performed with a freshness and originality that has earned the Al-Andalus Ensemble a devoted international audience. For festival settings, the Al-Andalus Ensemble expands with additions of modern Andalusian dance as well as trumpet, vocals, piano, bass and drums for a vital, energetic and absolutely beautiful experience.
"Al-Andalus" refers to Spain from 711-1492 AD. During these eight centuries, Andalusian Spain witnessed a cultural melding between Africa, the East and the West, as well as among Jews, Christians & Muslims. "Andalusian music" is the courtly music of Medieval Islamic Spain (Andalusia). Preserved and developed by the descendants of Muslim and Jewish refugees after the Reconquest, it is considered one of the longest continuous traditions of art music in the world.
JPF “People’s Grammy Award” for “Best World Music Song of 2009”
High Praises for Al-Andalus Ensemble
“A delightful proposition of exquisite music” (El Pais, Madrid, Spain)
“A perfect soundtrack ushering in the night with an ethereal sweetness”(The Georgia Straight, Vancouver BC)
“Tarik & Julia Banzi create a new musical language that unites the East & West” (Aramco World Magazine)
“Plus qu’un simple spectacle, est une traversée musicale et une invitation au voyage” (Institut Monde Arabe, France)
“A tantalizing love celebration” (The Malay Mail, Malaysia)
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