The Blues for Tahrir Suite is an example of my more recent fusion of jazz and Middle Eastern music as explained in the project description for my Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra. This suite presents three movements - Adhan (the Arabic word for the Islamic call to prayer that sounds five times a day from all mosques), Reflections, and Protest.
The suite gets its name after Tahrir Square in Cairo Egypt where much of the protests over recent years have been centered. The different movements of the suite attempt to capture different moods of the Arab Spring movement in Egypt.
The suite uses Middle Eastern inspired melodies which in a traditional Middle Eastern setting would be played in unison with other instruments or vocalists. In this suite however, I have often incorporated jazz harmonies by finding chords that can merge these Middle Eastern type themes and jazz harmonies without losing the essence of the Middle Eastern feel.
Filmed June 16, 2013 at the 14Karat Cabaret Club in Baltimore, MD featuring:
Todd Marcus (bass clarinet)
Gary Thomas (tenor sax)
Brent Birkhead (flute and alto sax)
Russell Kirk (alto sax)
Alex Norris (trumpet)
Alan Ferber (trombone)
Alex Brown (piano)
Jeff Reed (bass)
Eric Kennedy (drums)