NOMADIC SIGNALS: The Seas with “A” Trio / Nava Dunkelman

NOMADIC SIGNALS: The Seas with “A” Trio / Nava Dunkelman


Saturday, May 14, 2022 – 7PM

ISSUE Project Room in partnership with the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and Arab.AMP are pleased to welcome 2020 Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellow Leyya Tawil to present The Seas, her fifth program in the NOMADIC SIGNALS series. The program is an acoustic evening of improvisation featuring the US debut of Beirut-based ensemble “A” Trio: Sharif Sehnaoui (acoustic guitar), Mazen Kerbaj (trumpet) and Raed Yassin (double bass), and Brooklyn-based percussionist Nava Dunkelman.

NOMADIC SIGNALS is a vessel for sonic performance operating in what Tawil refers to as the “diasporic imaginary,” a description of how sounds change in the diaspora: how they tether to their environment, accumulate, synthesize, and adapt.

Tickets can be purchased on the ISSUE Project Room’s website. Tickets cost $15 each. Online sales end 4 hours before the show. Tickets are available at the door the day of the performance unless marked “Sold Out.”

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The Program
The Seas observes the power of possibility, in time, place and instrument. Discovery is intrinsic to the work of “A” Trio, for decades they have generated new waves of listening with their divergent approaches to their instruments and objects. Likewise, Dunkelman’s practices are multidimensional and intuitive. This acoustic evening is an invitation to travel into the sonic yet-unknowns revealed in real-time by these musicians.

The long awaited US-debut of “A” Trio in Brooklyn is an amplification of important musical voices within the fabric of Lebanese culture. The richness of the Arab immigration history in Downtown Brooklyn has been resonating on the streets for over a century. The Seas is a project that evolves this migration story, delivering an imprint of sound that is a continuation of the musicians’ nomadic journeys.

The Artists:

“A” Trio formed in 2002 in Beirut during the second Irtijal Festival of Experimental Music. They went on to record the first free jazz CD to be produced in the Arab world (“A”, La CDth que, 2003). Their music later moved away from its jazz roots towards a more textural approach, relying strongly on prepared & extended techniques for a heavy diversion of their respective instruments. After a decade of working together in trio and various other contexts, Kerbaj, Sehnaoui & Yassin have finally reached a very characteristic sound that has been fondly described as “textural swing.” The “A” Trio has often worked on collaborations with other musicians from genres as varied as Lebanese punk rock (Scrambled Eggs), American contemporary folk (Alan Bishop) or British first-generation free improvisers (AMM). Some of these collaborations have been released on albums, while some others, like the 4 hour-long concert where they joined forces with the Australian trio The Necks, still wait for a proper release. Kerbaj, Sehnaoui and Yassin are three of Lebanon’s most active musicians, organizing the “Irtijal” international festival since 2001 and running two record labels: “Al Maslakh” devoted to “publish the un-publishable” on the Lebanese musical scene. And “Annihaya”, which focuses on sampling, recycling and the displacement of various aspects of popular culture.

Nava Dunkelman is a percussionist and improviser based in Brooklyn, NY. Her musical approach is innovative and dynamic, combining virtuosity and intuition. Meticulous in an intrinsic way, she uses her distinctive sound pallet to explore and give life to a vast spectrum of musical possibilities. Nava’s current projects are electro-percussion experimental noise duo IMA with Amma Ateria and percussion duo NOMON with her sister Shayna Dunkelman.

Leyya Mona Tawil is an artist working with sound, performance, and hybrid transmissions. Tawil is a Syrian, Palestinian, American engaged in the world as such. Her work has been presented throughout the US, Europe and the Arab region. Her work Lime Rickey International’s Future Faith was nominated for a 2019 “Bessies” Award in Music. Recent/upcoming engagements include Wysing Art Centre/British Council (UK), Tarek Atoui Sound Residency at Sharjah Art Foundation (UAE), The Poetry Project (NYC), and FUSEBOX 2022 (Austin). Tawil was the 2020 ISSUE Project Room Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellow. Tawil is also on the curatorial team of Live In America Festival (AK), Southern Exposure (SF), Temescal Arts Center (Oakland) and is the founding director of Arab.AMP.

The Partners

The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (BKCM) aims to transform lives and build community through the expressive, educational and therapeutic powers of music. BKCM’s Park Slope home offers private music lessons, group classes, ensembles and music therapy. Through its community engagement programs, BKCM brings high-quality music education and music therapy to thousands of students and clients at public schools and community-based organizations across the city’s five boroughs. BKCM strives to be a safe, affirming and inclusive place for all people to come together and experience learning, joy, creativity and healing through music.

​Arab.AMP is a platform for experimental live art, music and ideas by artists of the South West Asian North African (SWANA) diaspora, region, and our allied communities. Arab.AMP celebrates the plurality of SWANA voices operating in futurism, hybrid and transgressive forms. Their current season features a monthly AMP Folktales artist commission and community spotlight initiative, with lead support from the California Arts Council.

The Arab-American Family Support Center empowers immigrants and refugees with the tools they need to successfully acclimate to the world around them and become active participants in their communities. AAFSC’s vision is more pressing today than ever: Striving for a socially just society where all immigrants including Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian populations can fully partake as Americans

ISSUE Project Room programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council