Musical Performance: Gaida and Anwar Diab Agha, with Faisal Zedan: An Evening of Arab Classics

Sat, June 6, 2009 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Gaida, vocals
Anwar Diab Agha, 'oud, violin
Faisal Zedan, percussion

Tickets: $15, available at the door and online here:

(Doors open at 8:30 p.m.)

This performance marks the world premiere collaboration between Syrian master oudist/violinist and composer, Anwar Diab Agha and rising star vocalist Gaida. They will perform classics from the Arab world that people know and love, including songs of Oum Kalthoum, Shadya, Najat, and Fairouz, among others. Joining them for this performance will be California-based virtuoso percussionist, Faisal Zedan. This is a rare opportunity to hear these three great performers together, and is something not to be missed.

"Gaida’s forthcoming CD, Levantine Indulgence, a song sequence of alluring beauty, is steeped in the traditional music of her Syrian heritage, but also shows the eclectic worldview of a New York singer-songwriter." -David R. Adler, Timeout New York

“[Gaida] improvised incantatory lines as an accomplished jazz vocalist might have done… [her] plaintive, gauzy vocals effectively disarmed listeners.” - Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune


Gaida is a vocalist and songwriter working at the intersection of the New York Arab and improvised music scenes. Her compositions draw at once on classical Arab song, Syrian folk traditions, and free improvisations that expand on traditional Arab maqams (modes) to produce an original and highly personal style marked by great emotional intensity. Gaida has recorded for major motion pictures, including Jonathan Demme's recent films, Rachel Getting Married and Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains. Her debut CD, Levantine Indulgence was recorded in September of 2008 and will be released soon (advance copies will be available at the performance).

Born in 1947 in Damascus, Syria, oudist/violinist Anwar Diab Agha has performed throughout the Middle East and Europe with Sabah Fakhri, Mayada Hinawi, and Firqat Umayya. He has been a member of the National Television and Radio Orchestra in Damascus since 1969, and has accompanied some of the Arab world's most famous singers, including Fairouz, Sabah, and Wadee al Safi. He is also renowned as a composer, whose works have been performed by many contemporary Arab singers. He is currently the leader of Firqat al-Anwar in Damascus.

Syrian-born percussionist Faisal Zedan is a virtuoso in the Syrian and Egyptian classical and folk traditions. He plays Riqq (tambourine), Derbakki (Tabla--goblet drum), and Tar (frame drum) with equal mastery, offering fellow performers and audiences a dazzling combination of subtlety, power, delicacy, assuredness, and humility. He currently lives in California and is visiting New York for a series of performances.

Tickets: $15, available at the door and online below:

Last updated: 2009-05-27 10:45:36


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