Ali Jihad Racy
Professor Racy is one of the world's foremost experts on Arab music, credited with studying and documenting numerous musical traditions throughout the Arab world. An accomplished performer, composer, and ethnomusicologist, he has inspired a generation of students and artists in this country and abroad.
Racy was born in Lebanon, where he performed regularly on television and in concerts, while presenting a weekly radio program on world music. Internationally known for his scholarly work, he has conducted field research and is credited with over 75 publications. Topics include the laments of Lebanon, Bedouin music, musical change and sound recording in early-20th century Cairo, improvisation, music of the Arab Gulf region, and folk instruments of the Near East.
At UCLA, Racy teaches seminars on the musical cultures of the Middle East and is the director of the Near East Music Ensemble. He has performed in major theaters, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and has composed and performed music for television, feature and documentary films. Included in his work is the ten-part series, The Arabs, shown on British television and on PBS in the U.S.
Racy also joined the Kronos Quartet in the world premiere of his Zaman Suite, which he composed for the Quartet, and has appeared on a Kronos CD release. He has also performed on a number of Middle Eastern instruments with the Sacramento Symphony and Livermore-Amador Symphony in his compostion titled, The Arab World: A Sea of Memories orchestrated by Arthur Barnes of Stanford University.