» Join our list


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Bustan Quartet

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
2121 Allston Way, Berkeley
Advanced Tickets: $25 – Students/Seniors/JCCEB Members, $27 – General
Ticket Sales at the Door: $25 – Students/Seniors/JCCEB Members, $30 – General
Purchase Tickets Online

Reunited members of Israel’s internationally acclaimed Arab / Jewish ensemble, Bustan, draws equally on Western and Middle Eastern classical traditions and jazz improvisation to create a stunningly original world of sound.

Taiseer Elias is regularly cited as one of the foremost ‘ud players in the Middle East, Zohar Fresco is a leading hand percussionist on the world stage, and their virtuosity is matched by their partners Amir Milstein (flute) and Emmanuel Mann (electric bass). The quartet consists of core members of Bustan Abraham, the band that through mastery and innovative synthesis of music from the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas revolutionized the world music scene in Israel in the early 90s and brought a fresh voice from Israel to the world stage as it toured abroad annually from 1993 to 2003. —-
Ben Brinner, ethnomusicologist, and chair of the Music Department, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by UC Berkeley Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost,, in association with the Department of Music, The Magnes, Townsend Center for the Humanities, Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Law, Economy and Society, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies

A master of both Eastern and Western music, oud and violinist, Taiseer Elias is one of the foremost Middle Eastern musicians of our time. Founder and conductor of the first Orchestra of Classical Arabic Music in Israel, and currently the musical director and conductor of the Arab-Jewish orchestra and the Music Center in Jerusalem, Elias has recorded with a number of ensembles including White Bird, Bustan Abraham, Ziryab Trio (of which he is the musical director) and others. In addition, Prof. Elias is the head of Eastern Music Department at the Rubin Academy of Music; a Professor in the Musicology Department at Bar Ilan University; and director of Arab music education in the Education Ministry in Israel.

A graduate of the prestigious Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem and New England Conservatory, Amir Milstein, flutist, established his career in the world-music scene, founding acclaimed ensembles such as Bustan and Tucan Trio with which he has recorded and performed worldwide. Milstein’s musical background represents a variety of styles and cultures including classical, jazz, Mediterranean and Latin music; he has participated in distinguished international concert venues and festivals, both as a player and as a composer.

Born in France, Emmanuel Mann has become one of Israel’s top bass players. He was a member of Israel’s first ethnic group, Habrera Hativ’it, and later co-founded Bustan Abraham. Mann has performed at the Israel Festival, the Budapest Spring Festival, the Hong Kong Asian Arts Festival, le Theatre De La Ville, the Lille Festival, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Womad Festival, the Krakov Jewish Music Festival, Sao Paulo SESC, World Expo- Seville, the Akbank Jazz Festival Istanbul, the Kennedy Center, Symphony Space, Town Hall, the Beacon Theater and the Jewish Repertory Theater. He has led workshops at the Berklee College of Music in Boston as well as the Julliard School in New York City.

One of the best and most sought after percussionists in the world, and a star on the international scene, Zohar Fresco’s unique amazing finger style expresses itself on a vast array of Oriental as well as Western percussion instruments. Fresco is a virtuoso of many percussion instruments, and his performances with the darbuka and the frame drums (such as Bendir, Riqq, and Tar) have left audiences all over the world awestruck. After years of playing these instruments, he has developed original techniques that include influences of Arabic, Indian, Persian, and Turkish music, as well as Jazz. Fresco was an original member of Bustan Abraham, Ziryab Trio and of Arabandi. Fresco taught at the Rubin Academy of Music where he was head of the Oriental percussion department.
Visit Zohar Fresco’s Homepage

Read an article by Prof. Benjamin Brinner on the history of Bustan Abraham in the context of Israeli Music.

FIND Bustan Quartet ON:

The Jewish Music Festival is a fiscally sponsored project of the JCC East Bay