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MDC Live Arts presents Layali al-Andalus: National Arab Orchestra and guests
Start Date: 5/12/2018Start Time: 8:00 PM
End Date: 5/12/2018
Event Description:

Miami Dade College’s (MDC) MDC Live Arts, Miami’s most eclectic performing arts series, closes its 2017-18 season with a gala event: Layali al-Andalus at 8 p.m., on Saturday, May 12, at the Olympia Theater featuring the National Arab Orchestra and special guests. A pre-concert reception will celebrate the season, offering complimentary Mediterranean hors d’oeuvres and refreshments for all concert goers.

MDC Live Arts’ Ojalá/ Inshallah season was named for the Spanish word for “I wish” and the Arabic phrase for “God willing” as a reminder of the Moorish impact on the Spanish language and Hispanic identity shared by so many greater Miami residents. This final performance, Layali al-Andalus, or Andalusian Nights, embodies the Arab-Hispanic connection, conjuring the romanticized historical place and time of cultural co-existence and exchange in an enchanting evening of Arab Classical music, flamenco and more.

Dedicated to performing and preserving the classical and contemporary traditions of Arab music, the 24-member National Arab Orchestra features violins and cellos alongside traditional instruments, such as oudqanun (zither), nay (reed flute) and a percussion section including riqq (Arab tambourine). The ensemble will be joined by esteemed Flamenco guitarist Jose Luis de la Paz, Flamenco dancer Niurca Marquez Flamenco singer Alejandro El Gambimbas (direct from Spain!); Arabic singers Marian Layousse, Abdallah Moussa, and Sephardic singer Susana Behar.

“MDC Live Arts is thrilled to bring this extraordinary orchestra to Miami for the first time, offering music lovers of all kinds the opportunity to experience a full Arabic orchestra with a flamenco twist, said Kathryn Garcia, MDC Live Arts’ executive director. “It’s sure to be a beautiful night of cross-cultural collaborations in the spirit of our Ojalá/Inshallah season!”

The National Arab Orchestra (NAO) is a nonprofit organization that that aims to preserve and integrate Arab culture through music education, outreach, and performance. Founded in 2009 and established in 2010, the National Arab Orchestra is home to the NAO Orchestra, the National Arab Orchestra Takht Ensemble (NAOTE), and the National Arab Orchestra Community Choir (NAOCC). The NAO is dedicated to preserving and performing the classical and contemporary traditions of Arab music, and provides opportunities that will bridge social and cultural barriers through music.

Its Founder and Music Director, Michael Ibrahim, is a dynamic conductor and a recognized innovator in the Arab music circuit.  A Metro-Detroit native, he was born into a Syrian immigrant family of humble origins.  He began his musical studies on the ‘Ud, and later studying the Bassoon and Nay as his musical training progressed. Ibrahim studied under renowned musicians Simon Shaheen, Johnny Sarweh, Nadeem Dlaikan, Douglas Bianchi, Anthony Iannacconne, Dr. David Pierce, Robert Williams, and Victoria King.  He earned a bachelor degree in music from Eastern Michigan University, and a Master of Music degree in conducting from Wayne State University.

Ibrahim’s background and unique approach to composition and improvisation—fusing Western and Arab music idioms— has led to performances in concert halls and venues the world over, features on a number of recordings and film scores, and opportunities to share the stage with some of the most influential figures in Western and Arab music. 

His role as an educator, providing instrumental and ensemble instruction, lectures and demonstrations on Arab music,  privately and in the classroom, at university and grade school levels, ultimately brought him to founding the NAO, where he currently serves as Music Director. Ibrahim hopes that through his performances and educational efforts,  he can  instill a wider appreciation for Arab music and its heritage.

Admission Information
TICKETS: $65, $48, $35 at |

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To purchase tickets, and learn more about the 2017-18 MDC Live Arts Season, call 305-237-3010, or visit
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