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Professor Banzi ’96 receives attention as scholar and performer

February 09, 2011

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    Julie Banzi B.A. ’96

Lewis & Clark

Julie Banzi B.A. ’96, a professor of guitar and an internationally renowned performer, received top honors for her music. In December, Banzi’s band, Al-Andalus Ensemble, was awarded the “Best Contemporary Classical Album of 2010” at the 9th Annual Independent Music Awards Program for their album “21 Strings.”

The band, which also includes Banzi’s husband, Tarik Banzi, is internationally known for a creative world-music fusion that merges classical, jazz, and contemporary music with musical traditions from the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. The group, which has toured around the world, is set to perform in Kuala Lumpur later this month and in Athens, Greece and Madrid, Spain in June.

In addition to being an award-winning musician and one of the few female flamenco guitarists worldwide, Banzi is also a scholar of ethnomusicology. Last fall, she presented on the significance of Andalusian women’s ensembles at the annual meetings of the Middle East Studies Association and the Society for Ethnomusicology.  

Banzi’s group earlier received a JPFolks “Peoples Grammy” award for the “Best World Music Song of 2009” for the title track off their album “Alchemy.” The group was previously named Emerging Artist of the Week by Muzikreviews.com.

Watch Al-Andalus Ensemble perform in the video below.

*Camille Tapia ’11 contributed to this story.

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