“Through my work, students and adults are becoming more aware and open to my culture. That is what I most want to accomplish.”
Hafez Javier Kotain (b. 1975) is a percussionist and teacher, fluent in both Arab and Latin rhythms. As a child, he learned to play the goblet drum (doumbek), performing on stage for the first time at age nine, and going on to study with master Syrian percussionist Hady Jazan. In Venezuela, the country of his birth, Kotain first began his career as an educator, teaching a variety of percussion styles to budding musicians—work he continues today with Philadelphia-area nonprofit cultural organizations. “Although many pop songs incorporate Arab rhythms and melodies, most listeners are unaware of the origins,” Kotain says. Kotain performs with Al-Bustan’s resident takht ensemble and Intercultural Journeys, an organization that seeks to bridge cultural divides through the arts and live performance. He performed with acclaimed artists such as pop artist Sting, actor and tenor Mandy Patinkin, Syrian singer George Wassouf, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Percussionist Hafez El Ali Kotain at Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture’s Arab Music Concert Series, November 18, 2011. Video courtesy of Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture.
The Franklin Institute is one of the oldest and leading centers of science education in the US.
On October 30 at 9 p.m. ET, WXPN broadcasts live from Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette, Louisiana with the zydeco all-star group Creole United.
As part of the ongoing interdisciplinary project Endless Shout, acclaimed musician, composer, and scholar George Lewis presents a series of performances and discussions.
The Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts developed a fundraising program that has allowed constituents to generate donations online for nominated artifacts in need of preservation funds.
Nicole Cousineau (Pew Fellow, 2007) makes multimedia dance theater based in strong, rigorous movement investigation.
A 2012 Pew Fellow and Leeway Transformation Award winner, Waselchuk is interviewing and photographing Philadelphia block captains for Them That Do, a project which reveals the individual and shared histories of the city’s diverse citizenry.
Astral Artists conducted a two-year residency with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis that included several Philadelphia premieres and a world premiere commission.
Micah Danges’ (Pew Fellow, 2015) work hovers between image and object, pushing the limit of what a photograph can be and using optical distortions that create abstract scenes from everyday items and places, in a distinctive merging of materials and process.
Two-time winners of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, PRISM Quartet has become known as one of the foremost chamber ensembles.
A 2012 Pew Fellow, Mitchell’s musical compositions address intersections and cross-pollination among various strains of acoustic, electric, composed, and improvised new music.
Chris Madak bridges (Pew Fellow, 2015) drone and contemporary experimental electronic music, demonstrating a refined and subtle, yet accessible, musical voice.
Johannes Goebel joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2002 as the founding director of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.