In this episode of "MFM Speaks Out," Dawoud Kringle interviews April Centrone, a multi-instrumentalist (specializing in the riqq, darbuka, frame drum, trap drum, and oud), co-founder of the New York Arabic Orchestra, teacher, composer, film producer and director, and music therapist based in NY / NJ.
"Our bedrock is education. We’re always intent upon creating beautiful alliances."
Our guest for this episode of MFM Speaks Out is April Centrone. April Centrone is a multi-instrumentalist (specialising in the riqq, darbuka, frame drum, trap drum, and oud), co-founder of the New York Arabic Orchestra, teacher, composer, film producer and director, and music therapist based in NY / NJ.
She has toured as a drummer and percussionist with Secret Chiefs, Ziad Rahbani, Marcel Khalife, Bassam Saba, and others.
She is a Carnegie Hall World Explorer musician and educator, business owner and founder of 10PRL, arts/film/event space on the Jersey Shore, and co-founder of the New York Arabic Orchestra, non-profit organization specializing in the performance and education of Arabic music. She has a Masters degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College, NYC.
As a youth educator, April worked closely with inner-city schools throughout NYC’s boroughs, teaching Arabic music and percussion and coordinating world music projects through Musicians For Harmony and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Connect.
As a music therapist, her work included her participation in a ‘Music Therapy Tour’ with the U.S. Embassy of Malaysia, holding workshops at Rohingya refugee youth centers and safe houses for young Malaysian women. During her residence in Lebanon from 2013 to 2016, she held Arabic music workshops for Syrian and Palestinian refugee youth through her project, Juthoor, with Nisreen Nasser.
She currently teaches world music at William Paterson University, leads group classes and workshops virtually and in NYC, and has held lectures in music therapy and Arabic music/percussion at Taipei University of the Arts, Lebanese American University and others.
Over her career, April has performed in venues such as the United Nations, NYC Opera House, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and has toured throughout Europe, the Americas, Middle East and Far East, performing at the Marciac Jazz Festival (FR), New Zealand World Music Festival Festival, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors (NYC), Musicas Do Mundo, Sines (PT), Beirut Jazz Festival (LB), Taipei Chinese Orchestra Silk Road Conference (TW), and others. Her debut album ‘New Moon’ is available on CD Baby and Spotify.
April's interest and pursuit of Arabic music, her meeting and work with Bassam Saba in founding the New York Arabic Orchestra, her philosophies on blending cultures, the artistic, cultural, and spiritual essence of Arabic music, her solo album New Moon, her teaching resume, her work as a music therapist, her charitable works, women's roles in Arabic music, the political situation in Iran and how if affects the music community, the business model of the New York Arabic Orchestra and their potential and actual collaboration and solidarity with the music community at large.
Music featured in this episode:
"Raqsat al-Atlas" composed by Abd el-Qader al Rashidi, performed by the New York Arabic Orchestra
"Fire and Blood" by April Centrone
"New Moon" by April Centrone
(All music used with permission)
April Centrone website: www.aprilcentrone.com
NY Arabic Orchestra: https://nyarabicorchestra.org/
DBDBD NY interview: https://doobeedoobeedoo.info/2011/03/02/interview-bassam-saba-and-april-centrone-speaking-about-their-baby-the-ny-arabic-orchestra/