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concert, events

Saturday, May 13, 2017 | In the Company of Friends – An Ecstatic Night of Sufi Music with Amin Sarshar, Juliet Rabia Gentile, April Centrone, Ali Rahman & Special Guests | 8:00 PM | Advance Tickets: $20 | At Door: $25


Persian Music Ensemble’s music is infused with the lyrical poetry of Rumi and Hafez, as well as Sufi repertoire including Persian Ghazal, Arabic folk songs, and Turkish Sacred songs (Illahi). Instrumentation includes the rich sound of the Persian Setar, the Arabic Oud and world percussion.Amin Sarshar – Setar, vocals
April Centrone- Oud, percussion
Juliet Rabia Gentile – Vocals, frame drum
Ali Rahman – Vocals, dafAmin Sarshar is originally from Hamadan, Iran and has performed with various ensembles. He was also classically trained to sing Persian ghazals under the Persian Dastagh system. He received his PHD in mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology.

April Centrone is the Executive Director of The New York Arabic Orchestra. She is a versatile performer of drumset in the genres of hard rock, jazz, funk, world, progressive and avante-garde. Her other trademark is as a performer and educator of the riqq (Arabic tambourine), as well as the darbekkeh (goblet drum) and frame drum. For almost ten years, she was student of master Lebanese/Palestinian percussionist, Michel Baklouk Merhej, and studied Arabic music and its other instruments, including the oud (Arabic lute), buzuq (Arabic ‘saz’) and violin. She has performed with renowned Arab artists such as Marcel Khalife, Ziad Rahbani, Bassam Saba, Charbel Rouhana and Najib Shaheen.

Juliet Rabia Gentile is a student of sufism, writer and performance artist. She holds an MA from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA from New School University. She is a student of her teacher Shaykha Fariha Fatima of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Community. Juliet has led prayer ceremonies and lectured widely on Sufism throughout New York City at venues including: the U.N. General Assembly, Riverside Church, Barnard College, Cathedral St. John the Divine, New York Open Center, Union Theological, Auburn Seminary, Museum of Jewish Heritage and One Spirit Learning Alliance. Juliet is a vocalist who sings Sufi improvisational chants in Arabic known as Qaside, Persian folk songs and Turkish sacred songs, as well as plays the frame drum. She performs in several ensembles including Red Union, Brooklyn Raga Massive, American Sufi Project, Adam Maalouf and The Tribe, I Guillari di Piazza. She also teaches Sufi Sema (whirling) both privately and in groups in NYC.

events, lecture

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | THE HEART OF THE FUTUHAT: an Ibn Arabi Lecture by Eric Shu’ayb Winkel | 7:00 PM | Suggested donation: $10

“There is no proof, among the animals, of the epithet of the True described as every day hu is upon a brilliant radiance more indicative of change than chameleons. You see, there is no adjective in the universe and no state which remains for two time periods, and no image which emerges visibly two times – and knowing accompanies the first and the last, so hu is the first and the last, and the visible and the invisible. This is the hu – she is colored and one in multiplicity.”

Dr. Eric Winkel (Shu’ayb) has just printed the third of six sections of the 10,000 page Openings revealed in Makkah to Ibn al-Arabi, the chapters on Changes. Here, halfway through the Futuhat al-Makkiyah, Ibn al-Arabi is counseling us to learn about changes, by observing ourselves and by identifying the coursing of the Divine in the cosmos. In the animal world, we observe the chameleon. In the human world, we watch the shadow play, which children and others who recognize the Divine understand is exactly their religion, while the obtuse adults dismiss it as frivolous: they are taking their Religion, which teaches us that we are shadows in a play, as mere play and amusement.

Murshid Ali writes in The Treasure, “With Dr. Shu’ayb’s translation of the Futuhat, by the gift of the Merciful, there will be no more exclusivity of this great work, which is a gift to all of humanity. The time has come to see people gathering and exploring and studying, and removing the darkness that has been plaguing this world for so long. The only way is to make peace with Heaven so that Earth will be transformed for the new humanity. I beseech my Beloved Allah to fulfill this vision of mine in the near future.”