Ithaca College to hold Judeo-Islamic concert and lecture on April 10

The Ithaca College Jewish Studies Program and the School of Music will present “Mediterranean Encounters: Judeo-Islamic Soundscapes,” a concert and pre-concert talk by Dr. Samuel Tjorman Thomas. The event will take place on Sunday, April 10, in the Hockett Family Recital Hall in the Whalen Center for Music on the Ithaca College campus. A pre-concert talk will begin at 7 pm, followed by the concert at 7:45 pm, Both events are free and open to the public.

Tjorman Thomas will present a musical treasury of individual and shared traditions among Jews and Muslims. Blending vocals, oud, violin, nay and percussion, with songs in Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish and Ladino, his performance will traverse North African and Levantine song traditions. “Drawing upon a rich intercultural mix of Hebraic and Islamic traditions, audiences will feel the heartbeat of the Mediterranean,” said organizers of the event.

Before the concert, Tjorman Thomas will offer a talk discussing the interrelationship of Jewish and Muslim music, including a primer on understanding the musical languages of the region.
A ethnomusicologist and multi-instrumentalist, Torjman Thomas teaches ethnomusicology and Sephardic Jewish studies at City University of New York, and is a faculty member at ALEPH and the Academy of Jewish Religion Cantorial Programs. His scholarship centers on Sephardic thought and culture, musical cultures of the Middle East and North Africa, Jewish musical traditions and jazz-based traditions. He is also the director of musical arts at Brooklyn’s Sephardic Community Center.

Tjorman Thomas is a multi-instrumentalist (saxophone, oud, nay), vocalist (Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish), and founder and artistic director of ASEFA and the New York Andalus Ensemble. His artistic work centers on performing music of North Africa, the Middle East and global jazz. He is a guest speaker, chazzan and facilitator in ecumenical spaces, cultural institutions, and music and spiritual retreats worldwide. For more information, visit his website at

For more information about the concert, contact Rebecca Lesses, coordinator of Jewish studies, at 793-8807 or Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact her and make requests for accommodations as soon as possible.