El Gusto Orchestra of Algiers, a group compromised of Jewish and Muslim musicians, perform a free concert this Saturday night, August 10 at 8pm in downtown L.A. as part of the stellar Grand Performances summer music and performing arts series. Grand Performances events take place at the festive water court at California Plaza between Grand and Olive, just a few steps from MOCA. Also on the line-up that evening will be the unique Cantonese Opera Orchestra.
Program notes from a recent June, 2013 performance at the Barbican Centre in London had this to say about El Gusto Orchestra:
“Algeria, 1950s. A blend of Berber sounds, Andalusian melodies, jazz and chanson rises amongst the walls of the historic Casbah in Algiers. The music is called chaâbi – meaning ‘of the people’; and it’s played by groups of Jewish and Muslim musicians. Algeria’s war of independence a decade later breaks these two communities apart, burying the memory of a part of the Franco-Algerian history which is still not fully known today.
Separated by history for fifty years, the 25-piece orchestra of Jewish and Muslim musicians returns … to share the passion that never left them, standing as a proof that music’s universality transcends prejudices. To witness a performance of El Gusto, is to live a moment of sharing, emotions, and pleasure both for eyes and ears.”
For more info on Saturday’s concert visit the Grand Performances website — www.grandperformances.org