we’re in the middle of Ramandan (“they” are in the middle of Ramadan), so – among many other things – it’s a decent time to catch Arabic music performances around the world. That’s the good news.

The bad news: many Arabic and “world music” events in New York City target an audience who can afford $40 tickets. For example: Damascus sufi Hamza Shakkur with the Al-Kindi ensemble and The Whirling Dervishes of Damascus, this Sunday, $37-42. Steep!

Here’s what we of the hungry wallets will be missing:
Hamza Shakkur – Al-Salam Al-Rabi (14.5 MB) [via]

whirling dervishes and hamza shakkur


  1. some self-promotion here, but those who want more sufi music (and explanatory descriptions) should read my post “sufi music, the modern and it’s roots…” it has a super gorgeous 35 minute performance and about ten other tunes…

    it’s funny… hamza shakur just came up yesterday when my friend came back from the west coast… mitchell has been staying with a lady who performed with nusrat fatah ali khan’s family for a while and got geeked on sufi ceremony music as a result… lot’s of synchronicity recently.

  2. I agree, $37-42 is steep. BUT when you live in Japan, as I am doing now, that’s the kind of price you learn to become willing to pay for even an average show!! It’s crazy. I came from NY where you can see amazing artists for free, or under $20. But in Tokyo the prices are just crazy. I paid $100 just to go see some sumo yesterday, and it didn’t even seem outrageous! And trust me, I am not raking it in. Guess you just get used to it after a couple of years.

    So count yourself lucky and splurge on some $40 tickets! NYC living is too good.

  3. Ha! Another Tokyo resident. I was about to say exactly the same thing. You’d probably have to stump up 6000 yen (approx $60) for a gig like this in Tokyo, if not even more. (I dropped 10,000 yen on a ticket to see Bjork earlier this year, and am going to have to pay even more for Radiohead – something I would’ve balked at if the girlfriend wasn’t so insistent about going.) For the record, though, it’s possible to see sumo for a lot less than $100.

  4. Tokyo prices on imported music make NYC’s look affordable. I suppose it is relative. But my wallet, filled with greenbacks unsure of their global value, isn’t convinced…

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