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Arabic Jazz Ensemble


Sunday, August 27 at 5:00 pm — At The Center for Jewish History

Nashaz is an expression of Brian Prunkas lifelong devotion to both Arabic music and jazz.

Nashaz — Arabic Jazz Ensemble
August 27th at 5 pm.

Part of the American Sephardi Music Festival.

Center for Jewish History
15 w 16th St
New York NY 10011


Nashaz is an expression of Brian Prunkas lifelong devotion to both Arabic music and jazz. Through his oud playing, improvisations and compositions, Brian finds common threads and natural sympathies between the disparate traditions of jazz and the maqam music of the middle east and North Africa, resulting in an organic new sound: melodic and spirited, ranging from wistful contemplation to kinetic intensity.



Prior to moving to Brooklyn in 2003, Brian Prunka was living and performing in New Orleans, where he spent his musically formative years honing his musical skills immersed in the jazz community. Always drawn to a wide range of music without regard to boundaries, national or otherwise, when fate introduced him to the oud he had an instant and profound connection with this storied instrument. A chance conversation led him to study with his mentor, the renowned virtuoso Simon Shaheen, who was impressed enough by his sincere passion for Arabic music to invite Prunka to perform with him on tour. He founded Nashaz to bring together his love of jazz and Arabic music.
He has performed throughout the U.S. and internationally with Simon Shaheen, Michael Bates, Ravish Momin, the New York Arabic Orchestra, the Vancouver International Orchestra, Zikrayat, the Near East River Ensemble, and others.

Other members of Nashaz joining in this concert will be Matt Darriau on clarinet and saxophone (Paradox Trio, Klezmatics), Kenny Warren on trumpet (Slavic Soul Part, Sway Machinery), John Murchison on bass (Zikrayat, Ensemble Fanaa), and Dan Kurfirst on percussion.