Thursday, April 5th: Music, Migration and the Maghreb

Music, Migration and the Maghreb
Proteus Gowanus (543 Union St., Brooklyn)

Join us for a lecture with recordings and discussion of a great era of Jewish-Muslim musical collaboration in North Africa and beyond.

By the beginning of the 20th century, the phonograph had become a fixture in bars, cafes and theaters across North Africa. With an eye toward a new market, the major international record labels soon moved in and recorded the greatest Jewish and Muslim musicians of their generation. The labels captured sounds that would come not only to define Arabic music in the region but also to preserve a fascinating history of Jewish-Muslim musical collaboration in the Maghreb.

By mid-century, North Africa and the music scene changed dramatically. In the immediate aftermath of Israel’s establishment and Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian independence, thousands of Jews from across the region made the Jewish state their new home including many of these musicians. Israel held little promise of a continued career for these artists and almost no hope of continued collaboration until a pioneering Moroccan immigrant found a cache of phonographs in a Jaffa flea market, started recording those around him and preserved this shared patrimony while enabling new styles to emerge. Join us to hear the story as we spin rare records from North Africa and Israel.