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 have launched an innovative two day Judeo-Arabic music workshop and conference in London. This program, which is a first in the UK, brought together an international group of experts for a two-day extravaganza to celebrate the richness of Judeo-Arabic music. JMI prepared a line-up of international experts on Judeo-Arabic music for two full days in February 2020 for a conference with workshops which culminated in a concert by a Judeo-Arabic music celebrity Haim Botbol of Morocco.
Details about the programme: https://www.jmi.org.uk/event/yallah2020
Below are a selection of lectures and the concert for your to enjoy. We will add to them weekly as we release the lectures one-by one, so please keep checking back.
1. Concert: Haim Botbol
2. Lecture: Remixing Sephardism – Professor Michael Figueroa
3. Lecture: Sephardi Voices UK – Dr Bea Lewkowicz and Daisy Abboudi
4. Lecture: Sonic Resistance during Nazism: The role of Judeo-Arabic Songs in the Maghreb – Vanessa Paloma Elbaz
5. Lecture: Seeing and Hearing Judeo-Arabic Music in Colonial Algeria – Dr Stephen Wilford
6. Lecture: The Moroccan Torah: Ritual, Drama and Magic – Dr Ilana Webster-Kogen (available from Wed 10th June)
More to be announced soon!
About the lecturers and the programme
JMI has helped to develop a compelling Jewish music strand at Undergraduate level and a full programme at Masters and Postgraduate level. JMI also support the Joe Loss Lectureship in Jewish Music at SOAS as well as offering a flourishing scholarship scheme for studies in Jewish music at Masters and PhD level, sponsored by the Mildred Loss and Sir Jack Lyons Studentship Scheme. PhD projects can be practice-led, fieldwork-based, or theoretical. The Joe Loss Lectureship in Jewish Music is currently being supported by the Jankel/Loss Family and partially supported by the Simon Richard Marks Charitable Trust.
Dr Ilana Webster-Kogen: https://www.soas.ac.uk/staff/staff71509.php
JMI Webpage https://www.jmi.org.uk/education/undergraduate-postgraduate-courses
Current Senior Joe Loss Lecturer in Jewish Music, Dr Ilana Webster-Kogen (2014 -) “Bole, Harlem, Tel Aviv: Ethiopian-Israeli Musicians Play the Diaspora”
Previous Joe Loss Lecturer Dr Abigail Wood (2006-2014) “And We’re All Brothers: Singing in Yiddish in Contemporary North America.”
First Joe Loss Lecturer in Jewish Music Dr Alex Knapp (1992-2006) “Chinese Jews, aspects of their history and their music”