Music of the Mediterranean Launches pro series season

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BRANDON, MB—The 2019-20 Brandon University (BU) pro series season kicks off  on Tuesday, Sept. 17 with a ground-breaking program entitled “Mediterranean Encounters: Judeo-Muslim Soundscapes.”

This evening of Sephardi-Mizrachi music is a first for the pro series, and introduces to Brandon audiences New York-based ethnomusicologist, composer, bandleader, multi-instrumentalist and singer Samuel Torjman Thomas.

A man looks to his right, while holding an oud against his body in his right hand and a saxophone against his body in his left hand
Samuel Torjman Thomas will open the Pro Series season on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at the Lorne Watson Recital Hall and will present as part of the Out of Bounds Lecture Series earlier in the day.

During this performance, Torjman Thomas will sing as well as play various saxophones and the oud – a lute-like instrument with up to 13 strings. Joining him for this event will be BU jazz percussion instructor Eric Platz, along with guest artists – a ney flutist, a violinist, a ‘cellist, and a bassist – from Brandon and from New York.

“This concert presents a musical treasury of individual and shared traditions among Jews and Muslims. It will highlight a range of musical styles from (these cultures), in Arab lands and in Spain, and will feature pieces (with) different regional musical dialects,” says Platz. “This is a snapshot of different musics that emphasizes the intercultural relationships between Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the different musical cultures of the Mediterranean region.”

The evening presents a rare opportunity to hear Torjman Thomas’ compositions, which are inspired by this mosaic of diverse and rich influences as well as by innovations in both World Music and Global Jazz.

The pro series performance will begin at 7:30 p.m., in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall, in the Queen Elizabeth II Music Building, at BU.

Also, on Tuesday, Sept. 17, Torjman Thomas will open the Out of Bounds Lecture Series for the season. His free presentation, “Jewish Songlines: Charting and Chanting the Moroccan Diaspora,” will take place from 12:40 to 1:30 p.m., in the R.D. Bell Hall, Room 1-57 of the Queen Elizabeth Music Building.

 The 2019-2020 pro series season also includes:

  • October 8, Park Sounds with Jennifer Thiessen, viola and viola d’amore, with Ben Reimer, percussion;
  • October 15, Collectif9;
  • October 17, the Homecoming Recital with Greg Gatien, saxophone, and Michael Cain, jazz piano;
  • November 19, Bryn Blackwood, piano;
  • January 14, the Faculty Concert;
  • February 25, Les voix humaines, Viol Consort;
  • February 29, Diana Cohen, violin, Franklin Cohen, clarinet, and Roman Rabinovich, piano;
  • March 3 and March 4, Corey Hamm, piano.

Tickets to all 2019-20 pro series events are $20 for adults, and $15 for students, seniors, and alumni. (Note: Admission to the two Corey Hamm recitals on March 3 and March 4 is the price of one ticket.) Subscriptions for the pro series season’s ten performances are also available – $85 for adults, and $50 for students, seniors, and alumni. New this year is the pro series’ flex pass – your choice of five tickets for $60. Individual tickets and subscriptions for pro series concerts are available at the door or in advance at the Main Office of the School of Music.

 The School of Music gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of Manitoba, through a Consolidated Arts Programming Grant through Culture, Heritage and Tourism.

 Please note that seating in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall is limited and that programmes are subject to change. For an up-to-date listing of pro series and student performances, please visit


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