Okbari

MidMiddle Eastern Ensemble dleMI

Biography
The Okbari Middle Eastern Ensemble presents music from the richly varied contemporary and historic cultural traditions of the Middle East including Ottoman Turkish Classical compositions, rural Turkish folk and devotional songs, Arabic classical and folk music, and dance music from the Armenian and Turkish immigrant diasporas.

The Okbari Middle Eastern Ensemble appears as a duo, trio and a quartet, and has performed at venues throughout New England, the East Coast and the Midwest, including prestigious institutions such as the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Alwan for the Arts in NYC, and enjoyed the honor of being invited to perform at the 2009 Chicago Arabesque Festival. The Ensemble also performs with world renowned Armenian-American clarinet virtuoso Mal Barsamian and has shared the stage in Istanbul, Turkey with the Kemani Serkan Ensemble and the Rumeli Meyhane Fasil Ensemble.

Okbari Middle Eastern Ensemble is Amos Libby (oud, vocals), Eric LaPerna (riqq, daff, tabla and nay), and Duncan Hardy {qanun}.

Amos Libby began his study of Middle Eastern music and oud technique with the late oud master and composer Udi Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian. Amos currently travels to Turkey to study Ottoman classical and Turkish contemporary art music with Istanbul Conservatory veteran and oud and yayli tanbur master Osman Nuri Ozpekel, and has also studied in Istanbul with renowned oud virtuoso Necati Celik. Amos also studied with Lebanese oud master Charbel Rouhana at Simon Shaheen's Arabic Music Retreat at Mount Holyoke College. Amos is the co-director of the Bowdoin College Middle Eastern Ensemble, teaches oud as a member of the Applied Music Faculty at Bates College, and is an adjunct instructor of oud technique at Bowdoin College.

Eric LaPerna has been a percussionist since 1987. He has studied African rhythms with Nigerian drummer Alani Ogunladi, Armenian, Greek and Turkish rhythmic systems with Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian, and Riqq, Tabla, Duff and the iqa'at {rhythmic modes} with master Arabic percussionist Michel Merhej Baklouk. He was the lead percussionist of the late Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian's Middle Eastern Ensemble and is a founding member of Okbari and Alhan Arabic Ensemble. Eric also studies the nay (Middle Eastern reed flute) and the maqamat (melodic modes) with the legendary Bassam Saba. Eric is the Director of the Bowdoin College Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, and is a member of the Applied Music Faculty at Bates College as well as adjunct instructor of hand percussion at Bowdoin College.

Duncan Ross Hardy has privately studied qanun (72-stringed Middle Eastern microtonal zither) with master qanun player Jamal Sinno in Boston and Arabic music theory and performance with Dr. Ali Jihad Racy at Simon Shaheen's Arabic music retreat at Mount Holyoke College, as well as privately with master Armenian oudist and clarinet player Mal Barsamian in Boston, MA.