The first half was more or less traditional Arabic music along with belly dancing. (The dancers were Nina Torres and Meiver DelaCruz, and Nagi joined them dancing for a few songs – playing the tabla while dancing for a couple of them. As sionnagh commented afterwards, he has great stage presence.) The second half was Arabic techno: traditional instruments and melodies electronically processed, with a club-dance beat. (Oh, and also “That’s the way (uh-huh) I like it,” for good measure.) It bore a relationship to traditional Arabic music similar to the relationship between Celtic rock and Irish traditional music. It was wildly energetic and energizing and just tremendous fun. Here are a couple of pictures, although they don’t capture the feel:
If you like Arabic music or dance music, you should go to http://www.turbotabla.com/cds/ and follow the links to listen to some samples and consider buying a CD or two. I haven’t listened to the first Turbo Tabla CD, but I’ve listened to several tracks of the Bellydance Overdrive CD (which are very similar to the second half of the concert, but more processed), and it’s great.
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