Salaamuna Ensemble - Music of the Near and Middle East
The Salaamuna Ensemble, formally Salaam Ensemble, premiered it's first community concert at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles in August of 2005 and at 'World City' at Disney Hall. Salaamunas newly designed educational in-school program premiered in January of 2006, sponsored by the Music Center of Los Angeles County and also Performances To Grow On of Ventura County.
The ensemble performs Persian, Arabic, Turkish and Armenian music of the Near and Middle East and features some of the most dazzling and world renown musicians representing a variety of diverse countries. Exotic and rare instruments are introduced in the concert style program and information about the cultural and traditional musical styles performed. The musicians also share some of their own personal experiences as learners, teachers, composers and master musicians.
The ensemble was formed my World Music composer and performer John Zeretzke after Music Center Education Division Director Barbara Leonard suggested in 2004 that Zeretzke take on the challenge of creating the new ensemble. Salaamuna's strong vision and commitment is not only to educational programming in the schools, but breaking into community based performances and family programming. Advisor to the ensemble is the renown music scholar, composer and famous Egyptian nai (cane flute) player, Dr. A. J. Racy.