Middlebury

June 24, 2002

Contact: Travis Fahey

802-443-5794

tfahey@middlebury.edu

Posted: June 28, 2002

MIDDLEBURY,
VT.-The Middlebury College Language School will present the Georges Lammam
Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Saturday,
July 13. The concert is free and open to the public. Traditional Arabic
refreshments, including coffee and baklava, will be served at 7 p.m.

The
ensemble has won critical acclaim for their classical and popular music
performances that come from a vast repertoire of pan-Arabic music. The
ensemble uses improvisation to elaborate on compositional ideas, which
are explored mainly through instruments integral to the music of the Middle
East. Those instruments include the kanoon, a harp, the muzhar, a drum,
and the dumbeck, a clay drum. The violin and accordion also contribute
to the ensemble's unique sound.

Ensemble
leader Georges Lammam first performed with his brothers, Tony and Elias,
who are an integral part of the ensemble, for a priest in the United Arab
Emirates. When the priest gave the brothers an honorarium for their performance,
the Lammams decided to make music their lives.

The
brothers toured the region, playing in five-star hotels and securing spots
on television and radio. In 1987, Georges came to Florida, soon making
an impact on the American music scene. He quickly secured a music contract
in San Francisco. In 1999, Elias came to join his brother and his signature
instrument, the oriental accordion, became an integral part of the ensemble.

The
brothers were soon performing throughout the world, but not just in the
name of entertainment. Georges and his wife, Jeanette Cool, founded the
Amorfia Productions Company, dedicated to the education and performance
of Arabic music and dance. Three recordings have been produced through
Amorfia, all of which are part of a curriculum for teaching and performance.
Georges has taught ensemble and vocal classes at the University of California
at Berkeley for four years. In addition, he has organized musical presentations
at the 1st International Conference on Middle Eastern Dance at Orange
Coast College in southern California.

Elias
has been equally influential in the music world. A world-renowned oriental
accordion performer, Elias has composed commercial music for Coca Cola,
Gillette, and the Lipton Tea Company. He was recently invited to the 10th
annual Cotati Accordion Festival, his performance at which earned him
a standing ovation and a return engagement the following year. In 2000,
he was the instructor for the Student Middle Eastern Instrumental Ensemble
at the Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp in Mendocino, Calif.

In
addition to performing as the ensemble's percussionist, Tony Lammam recently
published a book of romantic poetry called, "Confessions from Rain"
and has just completed a recording of poetry with musical accompaniment
called "Echoes of Silence." Tony is noted for his knowledge
of the vast array of classical rhythm patterns used in Arabic music and
for his highly embellished and syncopated style.

Fouad
Marzouk, the ensembles' fourth member, has studied and taught music in
Cairo. Performing throughout the United States and Canada, Marzouk is
regarded by critics as a virtuoso on the kanoon, a 72-stringed lap harp.
Marzouk teaches harp lessons privately in San Francisco.

Neither
Tony nor Fouad will be performing with George and Elias at the college
event.

The
ensemble's performance is being presented as part of the cultural accompaniment
to the nine-week Arabic language program at Middlebury College, which
promotes learning through immersion. Students in the Arabic school are
only allowed to read Arabic books and newspapers, watch Arabic television
and listen to the Arabic radio. In addition to the musical performance
presented by the Lammam ensemble, the students will experience Arabic
culture through cooking, religion and popular media.

For
more information on the performance, call Elizabeth Sacheli at 443-3169
or email her at sacheli@middlebury.edu.