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Palestinian, Moroccan Musicians At Kennedy Center

Palestinian, Moroccan Musicians Perform at Kennedy Center

Musicians from Morocco and the West Bank on a U.S.-sponsored cultural exchange program have been meeting since November 6 with music industry representatives and participating in workshops on jazz's impact on American and world music. On November 13, it was the Americans' turn to listen to the original and folkloric sounds of the five emerging artists.

Moroccan composer and guitarist Tarik Hilal joined Palestinian musicians Joseph Duqmaq, saxophone; oud player and vocalist Basel Zayed; oud player, pianist and vocalist Wissam Murad; and darbouka player John-Robert Handal for a cross-cultural performance on the Millennium Stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of the 2007 Cultural Visitor Program.

During the two-week program, the musicians are meeting with leading representatives of the American jazz scene. They also are visiting cultural and academic institutions and schools conducting informational sessions, performances and jam sessions. The artists will be in Washington November 6-14 and in New York November 14-20.

The Cultural Visitor Program is designed to give select performing artists from key regions professional development opportunities in the United States and to improve cross-cultural understanding, according to a State Department statement. The program is managed by the Kennedy Center under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.


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