Tarek Yamani performing at Atrium Lincoln Center, New York, 2018 Photo: Sachyn Mital.


Composer and musician Tarek Yamani will perform The Afro-Tarab Pairings Project, a solo piano performance in which each tarab/Arabic-influenced piece is paired with an African American/jazz-influenced piece. Yamani noticed similarities in the musical pieces of his solo repertoire—rearrangements of classical Arabic, jazz, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian Samba songs—and found their connections even more evident when the pieces were paired. Yamani also discovered that the paired pieces matched not only in musical style but also in title, theme or poetic inclination.

Some of the paired pieces include Chico Buarque’s Com Acucar Com Afeto with Darwich Al Hariri’s Muwashah Hubbi Zurni, Billy Strayhorn’s Lush Life with Sayed Darwich’s Lahn Al Shayalan, Harry Warren’s You’re My Everything with Ziad Rahbani’s Bala Wala Chi and Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia with Kamel Al Khulai’s Fi Hulal Al Afrah.

Since teaching himself jazz at the age of 19, Yamani has gone on to dedicate his practice to exploring relationships between African American jazz and classical Arabic music. These relationships are most evident in his newly released album, Peninsular (2017), which fuses jazz with quarter tones and the rhythms of the Arabian Peninsula, and his second album, Lisan Al Tarab: Jazz Conceptions in Classical Arabic (2014).

Prior to his performance, Yamani will be conducting a three-day workshop titled Jazz Tactics and Essentials of Improvisation.

All Sharjah Art Foundation events are free and open to the public.

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Tarek Yamani: The Afro-Tarab Pairings Project

Yamani, Tarek

Pianist Tarek Yamani has dedicated himself to exploring relationships between African American jazz and classical Arabic music.