2022-2023 | Season 17 Concert Schedule
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Music on Main
Friday, May 5 at 5:00 PM
JMAC Popup, 20 Franklin Street, Worcester
Rami Abu Olaya, ney; Elizabeth Jaesoon Cook, cello; and Ghassan Sawalhi, tabla/oud, join Neighborhood Strings for an evening of Arabic music
This one-hour concert is free and open to the public.
Rami Abu Olaya (ney) is a Boston-based musician born and raised in Palestine, where he studied Arabic music at Al Kamandjati Music School. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music. Rami has shared the stage with world-class musicians such as Titi Robin, Ramzi Aburedwan, Faraj Sulieman, and Ghalia Ben Ali. He has
participated in renowned music festivals such as Eid Al Musica Festival and The Humanity Festival of Paris. Rami has made multiple television appearances on Palestine TV and performed on international tours in France, Germany, Belgium, Jordan, and more.
Elizabeth Jaesoon Cook is a Boston-based cellist who teaches in Worcester Chamber Music Society’s Neighborhood Strings program. She obtained degrees from Mannes College, SUNY Purchase, and The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and studied with renowned cellists Marcy Rosen, Brooks Whitehouse, Julia Lichten, Michal Korman, and Zvi Plesser. Elizabeth has participated in masterclasses with Gary Hoffman, Peter Wiley, Paul Watkins, Zuil Bailley, 8th Blackbird, The Orion String Quartet, David Finckel, and Wu Han.
In 2018 Elizabeth was awarded a Gloria Miner Fellow at the 2018 Sitka International Cello Seminar and performed as soloist with the Western Piedmont Wind Symphony in the “Music Beyond Borders” concert series which highlighted the stories of refugees.
Her passion for social change has driven her to serve in many places worldwide such as Sounds of Palestine, a music program for refugee youth in Bethlehem, and Children of Cambodia, a sponsorship program for orphans in Phnom Penh Cambodia. Elizabeth has spent six years in Palestine and Israel where she studied and taught cello to marginalized youth, and those in refugee camps. She created and co-organized the first Palestinian Cello Choir in 2021, which gathered 30 cellists from all over Palestine to perform together on a concert tour.
Ghassan Sawalhi, tabla/oud, is a Hip Hop artist, Music producer, Audio Engineer, Composer, Arranger, and Multi-instrumentalist from Yafa, Palestine. Ghassan graduated with honors from the esteemed Berklee College of Music in the field of Music production and engineering in 2017. Sawalhi is a 2019 TedX speaker, multiple-time scholarship receiver, and a very active member of the Arabic Alternative Music Scene.