Tuesday August 22nd 2023
8pm (7:30pm Doors)
SISTERS - 900 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Habibi Gün showcases the works of revered Arab composers such as Riyad al Sunbati and Mohammed Fawzi alongside Western influences like Ennio Morricone, Link Wray, and that late, great Lebanese-American, Dick Dale. The resulting listening experience is sprawling, evocative, and unique—stark and contemplative one moment, abandoned and trance-inducing the next.
Josh Farrar - guitar
Gideon Forbes - ney, tenor sax
Gabe Lavin - oud, 12-string guitar
Insia Malik - violin
Phil Mayer - percussion
Jeremy Smith - percussion
Brian Prunka - organ
Sprocket Royer - bass
The musical collective, Habibi Gün, began as a whimsical and wide-ranging pandemic recording project in which guitarist/multi-instrumentalist/arranger/producer Josh Farrar collaborated on an eclectic and elaborate set of cover songs with local Arab and American musicians including: percussionists Gilbert Mansour and Philip Mayer; reedists Gideon Forbes and Daro Behroozi; kanunists John Murchison and Firas Zreik; and trumpeter Kenny Warren.
The current lineup features Mayer (New York Arabic Orchestra, Natalie Merchant), Farrar (Spanish Johnny’s Opera, The Foster Family, Bil Afrah Project) and Forbes (NYAO, Nortonk, Brooklyn Nomads) alongside composer, guitarist, and oudist—though playing organ here—Brian Prunka (Nashaz, Simon Shaheen, NYAO), bassist James “Sprocket” Royer (Souren Baronian, Taqsim, NYAO), violinist Insia Malik (NYAO, National Arabic Orchestra, Bassam Saba, Simon Shaheen), oudist/guitarist Gabe Lavin (NYAO, Near East Ensemble, Naseer Shamma’s Oud Orchestra) and on drum kit, Chris Stromquist (Slavic Soul Party, Frank London, the inspiring Greek Judas). Prunka and Lavin contribute original compositions. Percussionist Rich Stein is Chief Branding Officer.
The stylistic range of the compositions —from 60s bellydance to Sun Ra to Black Sabbath and back— keeps both listeners and musicians on their toes. For Farrar, a rock musician who has been immersed in Arabic music for the last decade, and his collaborators, Habibi Gün offers an opportunity to put Western and Middle Eastern genres in conversation with each other, resulting in an idiosyncratic variant of that dirty “f” word - fusion - that is curious, delightful, strange to behold.