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Yunus Rajabi Memorial Concert

The IV International Shashmaqam Forever

Monday, February 5 at 7:30 pm — At The Center for Jewish History
The IV International Shashmaqam Forever Yunus Rajabi Memorial Concert">

The American Sephardi Federation invites you to join Muslim and Jewish masters of Shashmaqam from Uzbekistan and the USA as they perform classical Central Asian music as it was experienced in the royal courts of the Emirs of the Bukharan Empire more than 100 years ago.

The IV International Shashmaqam Forever, a two-day Festival in Queens and Manhattan, will bring together Muslims and Jews to celebrate the legacy of the People’s Artist of Uzbekistan, Yunus Rajabi. The Memorial Concert will feature virtuosi vocalists and instrumentalists performing Shashmaqam, one of the world’s most sophisticated and refined classical musical systems developed through centuries of cultural collaboration. Shashmaqam was recognized by UNESCO as a masterpiece of humanity’s intangible cultural heritage. Literally meaning six maqam (“maqam” is roughly equivalent to the concept of mode or scale in Western music), Shashmaqam is a canon of instrumental melodies and poetic texts set to music.

Previously presented at Carnegie Hall, Shashmaqam Forever has been described as a “unique cultural event link[ing] the Bukharian Jewishcommunity, Uzbek Americans, and their historic homeland.” Founded by Bukharian Times Editor-in-Chief and composer Rafael Nektalov and philanthropist David Mavashev, who directs the Izkhak Mavashev Foundation – Institute of Bukharian Jewish Heritage in Diaspora, Shashmaqam Forever “is an event like none other, a bridge between communities and a celebration of culture,” said Nektalov, “Everyone is encouraged to attend.”

Festival presenters include The Bukharian Jewish Congress of the USA and Canada, American Sephardi Federation, Bukharian Jewish Community Center, Turkistan American Association, Uzbek-American Art Foundation, and MiRaf Entertainment with the support of the The Republic of Uzbekistan’s Cultural Ministry, Consulate General at New York, and Permanent Mission to the United Nations, and The Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the USA,

The IV International Shashmaqam Forever Concert is dedicated to Yunus Rajabi (1897-1976), a composer, musician, and scholar who collected, systematized, and transcribed more than a thousand songs and pieces from the Shashmaqam repertoire. His life’s work ensured that Shashmaqam survived Soviet suppression.

IV International Shashmaqam Forever — Yunus Rajabi Memorial Concert
February 5th at 7:30pm.

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

Shashmaqam masters performing at the Concert will include:

Khasan Rajabi (Uzbekistan) — vocalist, tanbur (long-necked plucked lute), sato (bowed lute)
Roshel Rubinov (USA) — vocalist, tanbur
Tahir Rajabi (Uzbekistan) — vocalist, rubab (lute with skin-covered deck)
Roman Tolmasov (USA) — vocalist, tanbur
Aziz Rajabi (Uzbekistan) — vocalist, tanbur
Ilyusha Khavasov (USA) — vocalist
Ulmas Allaberganov (Uzbekistan) — vocalist, tanbur
Abohay Aminov (USA) — vocalist
Rustam Khajimametov (Uzbekistan) — vocalist
Osher Barayev (USA) — doire (hand drum)
Jahongir Tuvdiev (Uzbekistan) — ghijak (bowed spike fiddle), vocalist
Nodir Djuraev (Uzbekistan) — vocalist
Ezro Malakovs Youth Shashmaqam Ensemble (USA)


The day before the Concert, on Sunday, 4 February, a scholarly symposium on Central Asian Classical Music: Yunus Rajabi and his Jewish musical environment, will be held at the Bukharian Jewish Community Center (106-16 70th Avenue, Forest Hills, New York). Researchers participating include: Prof. Walter Zev Feldman (New York University in Abu Dhabi), Prof. Steven Blum (CUNY Graduate Center), Rafael Nektalov (President of the Shashmaqam Forever Festival), Prof. Evan Rapport (Eugene Lang College at the New School), and Zoya Tajikova.

We are grateful for the support and assistance of the following individuals and organizations: Nastel Technologies, Inc., CASC (Central Asia Seed Company), Aziz Mamev, Ben Kurbanov, Michael Yusupov, Versailles Palace, and Star Entertainment.

Media sponsors: Center for Traditional Music and Dance, Queens Tribune, The Bukharian Times, Zamon Times newspapers, Nadejda- Hope Magazine, Kaykov TV.