In the Homegrown Plus series, we present Homegrown concerts that also had accompanying oral history interviews, placing both together in an easy-to-find blog post. (Find the whole series here!) We’re continuing the series with The Rahim AlHaj Trio, an ensemble based in New Mexico playing Arabic and Persian music. The trio is led by Rahim AlHaj, an NEA National Heritage Fellow and master of the oud, or Arabic lute. The trio appeared at the Library of Congress on July 28, 2016.
In the first player, watch the concert. Then scroll down for the oral history!
In the moving oral history interview, Daniel Sheehy, Director Emeritus of Smithsonian Folkways Records, spoke with AlHaj about his harrowing experiences as a refugee from the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, as well as his life in the U.S. as a master musician. Watch it in the player below:
The American Folklife Center’s Homegrown Concert Series brings music, dance, and spoken arts from across the country, and some from further afield, to the Library of Congress. For information on current concerts, visit the Folklife Concerts page at Concerts from the Library of Congress. For past concerts, including links to webcasts and other information, visit the Homegrown Concerts Online Archive.