The Mediterranean Music Institute: A Week of Concerts, Clinics, and Masterclasses

Under the musical direction of Javier Limón, artistic director for Berklee's Mediterranean Music Institute (MMI), four Berklee students gave six concerts in Spain, February 11-19.

February 11-12: The week begans with a duo performance by Jordanian violinist Layth Al-Rubaye and Palestinian cellist Naseem Alatrash in the headquarters of Casa Árabe on February 11 in Madrid and February 12 in Cordoba. The performances announced the beginning of a collaboration between the MMI—which brings together performers, artists, teachers, scholars, and studetns to engage in cultural and musical research, and study and perform the diverse music of the Mediterranean— and Casa Árabe, a consortium devoted to raise awareness of the Arab and Muslim world.

Al-Rubaye and Alatrash, who are studying at Berklee on full scholarship, already have built a long musical career. Their music brings together profound musical traditions with classical and contemporary jazz influences. Through their unique instrumental abilities and their passionate expressive performances, their music is an exceptional experience for any listener.

February 13: Israeli students Tali Rubinstein (recorder) and alumni Tal Even-Tzur (piano) with Al-Rubaye and Alatrash visited Berklee's Valencia campus to perform a repertoire of Javier Limón's last album Promesas de Tierra, a cutting-edge musical project reuniting Sephardic, Christian, and Moorish cultures, the foundations of flamenco and Andalusian music. They also gave a master class.

February 17: With the collaboration of Centro Sefarad-Israel and the Israeli Embassy, Rubinstein and Even-Tzur performed as talYtali in Centro Sefarad-Israel in Madrid. The event was followed with a documentary of the recording of Promesas de Tierra and a question-and-answer session with Limón.

The duo's instrumentation and musical esthetics stand out in the global jazz music scene. Their original music, heavily influenced by Israeli traditional songs and by their classical backgrounds, is complex yet accessible, putting strong rhythms alongside simple, beautiful melodies.

February 18: TalYtali performed a concert hosted by the Israeli Ambassador, Alon Bar, at his residence in Madrid.

February 19: TalYtali performed an unplugged live streaming concert at the online Noise Off Festival, followed by a concert in the evening at Sala Clamores in Madrid.

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