Jews & Sufis: Shared Music Traditions

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Bennington College Music, One College Drive, Bennington, Vermont 05201

From at least the 16th century up to the present, Hebrew devotional poetry (piyyutim) set to Ottoman/Turkish makam music for use in the synagogue has shown the close relationship Jews established with members of Sufi Muslim mystical communities in Ottoman regions. This program will highlight interfaith musical and cultural dialogue, showing how religious communities can—in our days, too—communicate and enrich each other.

The acclaimed DÜNYA Ensemble of Boston will perform an exciting program highlighting interfaith musical and cultural dialogue between Jews and Sufi Muslims during the Ottoman Era in what is now modern Turkey. Featured guests include Joseph Alpar, visiting music faculty at Bennington College, Dr. Edwin Seroussi, professor of musicology at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a mixed chorus of singers from the Bennington College and Williams College communities together with the choir of Israel Congregation of Manchester. A part of the Carriage Barn Concert Series, this event is free and open to the public.

Jews and Sufis: Shared Music Traditions Sunday, September 15 at 3pm Deane Carriage Barn at Bennington College One College Drive, Bennington, VT 05201

DÜNYA ( is a Boston-based musicians' collective and record label led by Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol. Its goal is to explore a cosmopolitan view of the world through the lens of a wide range of Turkish traditions, alone and in conversation with the musics of the formerly Ottoman peoples—Greeks, Jews, Armenians, Arabs, Kurds, mystics—as well as with western and other world traditions.

Edwin Seroussi is the Emanuel Alexandre Professor of Musicology and the director of the Jewish Music Research Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He researches North African and Eastern Mediterranean Jewish music, Judeo-Islamic relations in music, and Israeli popular music. A pioneer in the study of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern musical cultures and traditions, Seroussi was just awarded the 2018 Israel Prize in the music category. He has also won the Joel Engel Prize for Life Achievement in Jewish Music Research, Tel Aviv Municipality.