LECTURES AND MASTER CLASSES :
Karim Nagi has given lectures at Yale, NYU & Princeton Universities, Phillips Exeter Academy,
was a panelist in SXSW Arab Culture Panel, and the Arab American Museum Diwan Conference
and has taught master classes at New England Conservatory, Tainan Taiwan Conservatory, and B.U.
College, University, Conservatory, Academy, Conference & Public lecture durations are flexible, ranging from 30 to 120 min.
Arab Culture : OVERVIEW OF THE MISUNDERSTOOD The term Arab refers to an ethnic and/or language group within a geographical area comprised of over 20 countries. There are Christian, Muslim, Jewish and tribal roots in this region. From Algebra to the Arab Spring, the Arab world has always been relevant to the West. How do we define Arab, and how can one understand them through their cultural and artistic output? Karim Nagi uses music, dance, language and costume examples to introduce audiences to Arab culture, its unity and dicersity.
Percussion NOT Politics : AN ALTERNATIVE TO MEDIA PORTRAYAL An American's impression and assesment of Arab and Muslim charachter is heavily, if not exclusively, determined by Media coverage. In the post 9/11 era, the Arab and Muslim are easily percieved as antagonists. During the Arab Spring, the Arab world is consistently shown as radical, disorganized, and dangerous. What are the other information sources available to learn about Arabs and Muslims on a human level? Karim Nagi speaks extensively about his work visiting over 150 schools across America, and his concert and outreach work, where he demonstrates and teaches the Arab cultural arts.
Purists and Innovators : ARAB MUSIC IN AMERICA Like any ethnic group in America, Arab-Americans actively perform music. Despite America's diversity and pluralism, and the Arab World's percieved homogeny and conservatism, innovation in music among Arabs is more widespread in the Arab world, while Arab-Americans tend to be traditionalists and purists. Why? Karim Nagi presents this phenomenon of diaspora. This paper was published in the anthology Etching Our Own Image: Voices from Within the Arab American Art Movement published by Cambridge Scholars Press, UK.
Music Master Class : ARAB MELODY & RHYTHM FOR MUSIC STUDENTS Music majors, minors, as well as ethnomusicologists, will learn the principles of Arab music. Karim uses a lute, percussion and singing, to introduce the students to the modal and rhythmic systems of Maqam and Iqaa. A lecture format will allow students to follow with their voices and clapping. An ensemble format can allow instrumentalists and percussionists to apply the training to any instrument, Western or Eastern. Full cultural context and ethnographic background will be presented along with the repertoire.
Falafel and Sushi : ARAB DIASPORA IN AMERICA An Arab can come from one of over 20 countries. They could be current immigrants, or up to 4th generation American citizens. When, and how, do they identify as Arab versus a more specific national identity (such as Lebanese or Egyptian)? How comfortable do they feel in America compared to other ethnic and immigrant groups? Karim Nagi, from his own life, studies of diaspora behavior, and his extensive interaction with Arab communities across America, gives insight into the loves and aversions of this growing American minority.
Lauren of Arabia : AMERICAN PERFORMERS OF ARAB DANCE Like in African, Latin, or Indian music and dance, there are many Americans who study and engross their entire life and identity in the Arab arts. What are their motivations, positive contributions, and how "authentic" are they? Moreover, how do native Arabs view these "ethnographers". Karim Nagi, a man who stands at the bridge between Arab and American dancer instruction, offers both analysis and "call to action". His goals are to encourage more native Arabs to train and dance professionally, and to support and give resources to the American dancers.
Percussion Master Class : ARAB RHYTHM AND DRUMMING FOR MUSIC STUDENTS Percussion students will learn the principles of Arabic percussion and the Iqaat system. Students may use any available percussion instrument, including African, Latin, Middle Easterm, and Western drums. Students will learn the names and histories of prominent Arab Awzan rhythms. They will learn to vocalize the "Dum Iss Tak" phrases, and clap each phrase. Karim will demonstrate how to apply each rhythm to the available drum by designating the three needed sounds. He will conclude by teaching an ensemble composition that includes rhythms for all 5 regions of the Arab world, and solo improvisations.
INTRO. TO ARAB MUSIC, DANCE & CULTURE (presentation & ARABIQA for KIDS): In this comprehensive showcase, Karim defines the term Arab and Arab-American. By equating it to African-Americans, Latino-Americans, etc., Karim illustrates what it means to be bi-cultural. He then gives a dynamic and entertaining demonstration of the various instruments including an array of drums and the Buzuq (longneck lute). He elicits audience participation throughout by having them pronounce the instrument names, a deliberate first-lesson in the Arabic language. Next he teaches a three-sound clapping system which allows anyone in the crowd to perform the Arabic rhythms without an instrument. Brief demonstrations of Dabka Line Dancing and Tahteeb Cane Dance are included. When feasible, invites participants to learn as the rest of the audience provides rhythmic accompaniment via their newly learned clapping method. The presentation is animated, humorous and participatory. It is very effective with young audiences and school groups. Karim also has a more articulate version for College, University and Adult general audiences. (Duration flexible from 40minutes - 1.25hours.)