Voices of Kurdistan in New York

Nergez performs at the Park Avenue Christian Church

Manhattan became a veritable "Kurdistan on the Hudson" for one special evening of world music and cultural engagement on Saturday November 5, 2011, as the Kurdish ensemble Nergez filled the hall of the Park Avenue Christian Church with songs and dances of Iraqi Kurdistan. Named for Kurdistan's national flower--the Daffodil, Nergez is comprised of four American Voices scholarship students from Iraqi Kurdistan (Aram Kawa, Rebin Ali, Honer Ali and Alan Salih) who have been or are being hosted as scholarship students in St. Louis.
The Park Avenue Christian Church's ornate hall provided a marvelous canvas as the four young Kurdish musicians painted a vibrant picture of their homeland through its music and culture. Using a combination of violin, oud, traditional percussion and voice, the ensemble performed a rich medley of Kurdish and Arabic folk and classical songs that illustrated the vividness of Kurdistan's cultural landscape. With a flourish of plucks of violin strings, percussed beats and vocalized harmonies, these young Kurdish Iraqi cultural diplomats whirled their way through song after song.