The incomparable ‘ud (lute) player and violinist Simon Shaheen, a major force in the promotion of Arab music as composer, performer and educator, brings back to life the glorious era of Arab film music (1930s-60s) in this fascinating program. Under his direction, this concert of instrumentals and vocals is performed by some of the finest Arab artists living in the US, as well as by emerging names in Arab music. Shaheen is joined by Qantara (“arch” in Arabic), his acclaimed ensemble which features Bassam Saba (flutes), Najib Shaheen (‘ud), Naseem Elatrash (cello), Laith Sidiq (violin) and Tareq Rantisi (percussion). Appearing as special guests are members of the Qantara Berklee Ensemble.
“virtuosic sophistication” – New York Times
“Simon Shaheen may be the greatest musical ambassador from the wide world of Arabic music to the U.S.” – NPR