Musical Performance: Ahmad Gamal sings Sayyed Darwish

Sat, March 3, 2012 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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This concert will feature recently arrived Egyptian singer Ahmad Gamal performing works of the legendary Sayyed Darwish, who is considered by many to be the father of Egyptian popular music.

Doors open at 8:30pm

Sayyed Darwish was born on March 17th, 1892, in the modest neighborhood of Al-Dokka in Alexandria, Egypt. He died on September 15th, 1923, at the age of 31. Of those 31 years, he spent only 6 in music, while living in the neighborhood of Shobra in Cairo, Egypt.

In that short time, Darwish created approximately 1,200 diverse musical works, from theatrical music to songs in the forms of muwashahat, adwar, and takateek, using the words of Badi' Khairy, Bairam El-Tunsi, Younis Al-Qadi, and Amin Sidki. Sayyed Darwish was able to inform his melody with the emotion of these lyrics, and shifted the main function of Egyptian vocal performance from tarab to expressiveness. His influence came with a demographic shift as well, as he brought art music to the street, where it had before existed only in the palaces and dwellings of Egypt's economic elite.

Sayyed Darwish composed 10 adwar, 35 muwashahat, 18 patriotic songs, including the national anthem sung in Egypt today, "Beladi, Beladi". Darwish especially excelled at the music he composed for theater, as well as the 23 operettas that he composed, the most famous of which are Al-Tiba, Sheherezade, and Al-Barouka.

Sayyed Darwish passed away in the height of his youth and artistic output, and before he could fulfill his life's dream, which was to travel to Italy to study Western music there.

Tickets: Online pre-sales have ended. Tickets will be available first come, first serve at the door: arrive early if you haven't already purchased tickets!

This concert will feature:
Ahmad Gamal- voice
Sami Abu Shumays- violin
Tareq Abboushi- buzuq
Hadi Eldebek- 'oud
Zafer Tawil- qanun
Lety ElNaggar- nay
Amir ElSaffar- trumpet and santur

About the Musicians:

Ahmad Gamal, an Egyptian singer and actor, has been a solo vocalist of the Arabic Music Orchestra of the Opera House in Cairo, Egypt since 2001. Ahmad earned a Bachelor’s degree in Greco-Roman Archeology & Civilization from the University of Alexandria, Egypt and worked in the art center at the Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt. His professional career as an artist began in the early 90’s. Since then, Ahmad has taken part in multiple Egyptian TV series and performed in national and international concerts, world summits, and Festivals around the Arab world, Europe, and the United States. He has performed in several celebrations of historical events including the 50th anniversary of the July 23rd Egyptian Revolution at the Opera House in Cairo, the opening of the Library of Alexandria in front of 32 world leaders, and The International Women’s Day in Amman, Jordan.

Since recently coming to the United States, he has performed with the Alwan Arab Music Ensemble in New York City and plans to continue as a solo vocalist with the recently established and soon to be debuted musical ensemble, “Awtar.” Ahmad performs songs from the classical as well as modern Egyptian repertory, and has written and produced a few of his own songs. He is especially passionate about the musical works of the amazing Sayed Darweesh and is adamant about maintaining a unique, refined, and genuine artistic persona.

Last updated: 2012-03-03 15:55:55

Sayyed Darwish
Sayyed Darwish
Ahmad Gamal
Ahmad Gamal

Alwan for the Arts

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
(between Broad St. and Broadway)
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261

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