Jewish-Arab Ensemble SheshBesh comes to Edmonds Center for Arts Jan. 18

SheshBesh will appear in Edmonds Jan. 18. (Photo courtesy ECA)

SheshBesh, an Arab-Jewish ensemble comprised of three members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra alongside four of the finest musicians from Israel’s Arab community, will perform Saturday, Jan. 18 at Edmonds Center for the Arts.

Prior to the performance, the artists will engage in a free pre-show talk, speaking to a model of two cultures living together in harmony, and the belief that music can build bridges between people. ECA’s pre-show programs are presented in partnership with the University of Washington Bothell.

According to an ECA announcement, SheshBesh is a model of tolerance and mutual respect in a turbulent Middle East. In 2006, the ensemble was awarded the European Medal of Honor – Prize for Tolerance for their vision and commitment to Israeli-Arab relations.

Musically, the ensemble reflects a multicultural context of classical Western music, classical Eastern works, and original compositions. The artists perform traditional Oriental material alongside works by Bach, Mozart and Haydn; an ancient “Mouwashah” from Moorish Spain paired with a Bach violin Partita; a Mozart aria with a folksong by the legendary Fairouz of Lebanon; and original compositions by both Jewish and Arab composers. On a deeper level, the ensemble’s onstage presence and repertoire are a living metaphor for people striving to coexist.

Since becoming an integral part of the Israel Philharmonic’s education program Key Note, SheshBesh has appeared at the Tanglewood Music Festival, St. Bartholomew’s Church (NY) for the Alliance for Religion and Conservation, and at Carnegie Hall for the JVC Jazz Festival hosted by Michael Feinstein. In 2004, the ensemble won two prizes at the International Oud Festival in Jerusalem, then went on to open Israel Music Week with six original commissions from Arab and Jewish composers.

Tickets to ECA Presents SheshBesh: $19-$49 with 10% discount for seniors and military and a $15 youth/student pricing available directly through the box office. To purchase, call 425-275-9595, go online at, or visit in person at the ECA Box Office, located at 410 4th Ave. N. ECA is a partner of TeenTix, and offers $5 tickets to teens at the box office on the day of the performance, pending availability. To become a TeenTix member, register at


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