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Yallah: Judeo-Arabic Workshop and Conference


Sunday 9th February 2020
Monday 10th February 2020


SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London, WC1H 0XG
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YALLAH: Learning Judeo-Arabic Music
February 9 & 10, 2020

Jewish communities have lived, sung and spoken in Arabic for over a thousand years from Iraq to Morocco, and these histories have been intertwined with the political and social circumstances of the countries they lived in. Music navigates their deeply rooted belonging to these places, and represents a unique approach to dealing with layered and complex identities. From Mimouna to Bakkashot, the Jews of Arabic-speaking lands have developed a distinctive repertoire for celebration and mourning that sits proudly alongside the popular music of the Arab world.

The Jewish Music Institute is excited to launch an innovative two day Judeo-Arabic music workshop and conference in London. This program, which is a first in the UK, plans to bring together an international group of experts for a two-day extravaganza to celebrate the richness of Judeo-Arabic music. JMI is preparing a line-up of international experts on Judeo-Arabic music for two full days of conferences and workshops which will culminate in a concert by a Judeo-Arabic music celebrity, as well as a final performance from the participants with repertoire they will have learned during these two days.


EDWIN SEROUSSI Director of the Jewish Music Research Centre of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem 

JOSEPH CHETRIT Emeritus Professor and Head of the Centre for the study of Jewish Culture in Spain and Muslim CountriesUniversity of Haifa

This event will be run in collaboration with SOAS and University of Cambridge.
Tickets on sale from Mid-September 2019.
Register your interest by emailing us through the contact page: https://www.jmi.org.uk/contact-us 


Dr Ilana Webster-Kogen (SOAS - University of London)

Dr Ilana Webster-Kogen Ilana is the Joe Loss Senior Lecturer in Jewish Music at SOAS. Her first book Citizen Azmari: Making Ethiopian Music in Tel Aviv was published with Wesleyan University Press in 2018. Her new project focuses on emptiness in Manshiyya on the Tel Aviv-Jaffa border. Her work has been published in Ethnomusicology Forum, African and Black Diaspora and the Journal of African Cultural Studies.

SOAS page here

Dr Vanessa Paloma Elbaz (University of Cambridge)

Research Associate at the University of Cambridge working on the the ERC funded project Past and Present Musical Encounters Across the Strait of Gibraltar. Her research focuses on issues of music, narrative and power structures in Morocco’s Jewish music. Founder of KHOYA: Jewish Morocco Sound Archive, her work has been featured in the New York Times, BBC, I24 and Al Jazeera among others. Former Fulbright Senior Research Scholar to Morocco and Posen Fellow, her research has also been funded by the American Institute for Maghrib Studies and the Righteous Persons Foundation. She is also a professional performer of Sephardi repertoires.

Cambridge University page here

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