Introducing our wonderful music teachers for 2018!
Adel Salameh (Palestine/France)
Palestinian oud player and composer, Adel Salameh was born in Nablus, Palestine, in 1966. He started performing as a soloist while still living in the Arab World, but immigrated to Europe in 1990. He quickly established a reputation as one of the finest performers of the oud. He has performed in more than thirty countries including Japan, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, and numerous countries in North Africa and Europe.
When performing as a soloist or with musicians from a variety of musical backgrounds, Adel believes that music is an excellent tool to build bridges between various cultures. In an effort to tackle these cultural barriers, he has worked with Turkish, Spanish, Indian, French, English, Israeli and jazz musicians.
Adel has worked with Womad/Real World for six years and performed at the most prestigious concert halls in Europe. These include Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Centre in London, Concertgebouw, Royal Tropical Institue, Paradiso in Amsterdam, Theatre d’ Single (Antwerpen) Belguim, Institute of the Arab World in Paris, The Opera House and the Auditorium in Lyon. He has also performed at many festivals throughout the World. He has been described as the ambassador of Arab music in the West.
Born in 1972 in Beirut, Lebanon and raised in Oum Dbaib, Syria, Faisal Zedan grew up impassioned with the Derbakki. At the age of 15, after intensive study with a local drummer, Faisal embarked on a journey of learning through exposure to a wide repertoire of Arabic classical and contemporary music. Years of tireless practice, along with the love of the drumming, has resulted in the mastery of the Derbakki, as well as the Riq and Def ( Arabic/Turkish frame drum). Faisal embodied the elements essential to Arabic drumming combined with a deeper understanding of the complexities of Arabic musical structures, from the classical Muwashahat and Adwar style, to simpler folkloric styles, to belly dance. Faisal has studied and performed many Arabic styles of music and drumming; from Moroccan to Iraqi and the music of the Arab Peninsula and Yemen, as well as Middle Eastern styles such as; Turkish, Armenian, Persian and Afghan, and Balkan and Greek styles from Eastern Europe. His unique approach mixes thousands of years of tradition with pure emotion and a contemporary feel. After coming to California in 1992, he met UCLA’s noted ethnomusicology professor Dr. Ali Jihad Racy and was invited to join the acclaimed UCLA Near East Music Ensemble. In 1993 Faisal became a founding member of the Near East music group, Kan Zaman. In 1996, Faisal taught at the Mendocino Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp for the first time and has been part of the staff since 2011. Since 2003, Faisal has been teaching at different music camps on the west coast and abroad and teaching percussion workshops and private instruction throughout the United states. In 2009, Faisal released his first instructional DVD for Arabic drumming and a CD with Qanoun player Samer Farah. In 2011, he released a belly dance drum solo instructional DVD with dancer Mariyah. Currently affiliated with music groups such as; Qadim, Zikrayat and Broken Shadows Ensemble, Faisal is involved in many recording projects and collaborations with musicians from different backgrounds.
Arash is one of the founders of the Sufi Art Group and a researcher, composer, writer and teacher whose work draws on Sufi traditions and Persian folkloric music with the goal of preserving the art and culture of love and devotion. Since his participation in the Oriental Music Exchange (Tajali Program) in India, which was sponsored by the Iranian Cultural Attaché in New Delhi in 2000, Arash’s interest in World Music fusion was ignited and he has turned his focus to this path in performance and recording with Diaspora Ensemble and Mystery of Creation. In 2000 Arash also recorded with the great female mystic Abida Parveen, and on the Rumi in the Land of Khusrau project (in honour of Jalāl ad‐Dīn Muhammad Balkhī and Amir Khusrau Dehlavi) in India, and this also inspired his passion for devotional music.
Arash has been an international member in Silk Road Ensemble supported by Indiana University Departments (USA), 2010. He has also performed at the Woodford Folk Festival many times and has toured Australia with Sufi Art Group and Mehr Ensemble, as well as participating for several years in the ceremonies commemorating Jalāl ad‐Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (Rumi)’s death, in collaboration with Konya Mystic Music Festival, Turkey.
Matt Stonehouse is a Melbourne based percussionist, composer and instrument maker. He specialises in frame drums and the Daholla (Middle Eastern goblet shaped drum).
Matt has studied with master drummer, Ercin Kacaimamoglu in Turkey and both Faridun Farahani and Sara Fotros in Iran. In 2008 he released the book ʻPercussion of the Arabic world and beyondʼ and went on to release a feature length documentary highlighting musicians in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Greece. ʻThe Rhythmic Eastʼ documentary won two official selections at international film festivals. Matt has recorded on more than forty albums including Unified Gecko, Bashka, Mista Savona, The Reefers, The Tea Party (Jeff Martin), My friend the chocolate cake and Latitude 37.
He released his own album ʻRosieʼs point of viewʼ in 2016 on vinyl. More recently he was featured percussionist on the Australian tour with the Ross Daly quartet. Matt is currently an artist in resident at Dunmoochin artist colony in Cottles Bridge where he is focusing on composition and frame drum making.
Nawres Al-Freh has been playing classical and Arabic violin, joze and kamanche for 17 years. His classical training in music began at the Baghdad Conservatorium and he completed his degree at the Jordanian Conservatorium. After his studies he performed in numerous of international festivals such as WOMAD (UK), Jarash (Jordan) and ethnomusicology projects and workshops in Sweden, Cyprus, the UK, Oman, Australia and Jordan. He also played and arranged music for variety of Arabic ensembles such as Amman Arabic music orchestra. Nawres has performed with a number of renowned world music masters such as Naseer Shamma and Ross Daly, as well as many of Australia’s finest world music players. He is currently a violinist in the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra as well as Joza and Kamancheh player in The East Orchestra (Silk), which was formed by the Oud master Naseer Shamma and based in Egypt and features number of very fine musicians from the Middle East and done remarkable performances in different places in the Middle East including playing in the opening ceremony of Oman opera house. Nawres also plays violin, joze and kamanche in local world music ensembles and teaches music privately.
Phil has been playing middle-eastern music for 20 years. He has studied Ney, Mey, Quartertone accordion and Zurna (mizmar) in Turkey, Egypt and Morocco. He has played with La Kasbah (Moroccan), Ta’esh Fa’esh and the sufi group Sanctuary Ensemble. He has lead the band Yalla! for over 10 years playing at festivals in every Australian state with one CD. He has played in Alwan who have made one CD. He also plays in the Australian Arabic Orchestra. Phil’s passion for the Eastern sound deepened during his travels in ’98 to the Middle-East with The Breezes Of Anatolia Turkish ensemble and subsequent studies in Egypt , Turkey and Morocco where he studied Oriental music. He lived in Turkey in 2007 and 2008 where he worked as a musician in Istanbul sufi ceremonies, cafes, bars and functions. He has taught middle-eastern music at camps, festivals and NMIT. His instruments: quarter-tone accordion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6dXPrDS9Ms ney http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wKfUyepROw mey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMF45vZsaVs&feature=youtu.be zurna http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SFKeJLshkI
Omid Rahimi is a professional Iranian singer with vocal expertise in Iranian folk and traditional music. Omid primarily has been trained on twelve modes of Persian traditional music, known as ‘Dastgah’, by Morteza Sharif. He specialized in two schools of singing: Tehran and Esfahan. Then he received advanced levels of the school of Esfahan from maestro Jalal Taj Esfahani. During his education in the city of Esfahan, Omid also attended percussion-training courses taught by Majid Hesabi. It has been for twenty years that Omid has been singing and playing major Iranian percussion instruments, Daf & Tombak. Omid has performed in numerous occasions and has been awarded certificates of appreciation by distinguished organizations such as The Mental Health Council of Australia, Sufi Art Group, and Radio 4EB. He joined Hezar Ava ensemble in 2010 and Jazzab ensemble in 2011 as a vocalist and Tombak and Daf player. He had several performances with these two ensembles in different places such as the School of Music of the University of Queensland, Brisbane City Hall, Customs House, Griffith University and a few multicultural festivals in Brisbane. He released his first album “Khorram Yaad” in 2013.
Cieavash has dedicated his life to music for more than forty years. The instruments that Cieavash performs include – Barbat (Oud), Kamanche, Nay, Tar, Flute, Accordion, Daff and Zorna. Cieavash is also a well accomplished vocalist. Born in Tehran, Iran Cieavash plays traditional Middle Eastern music. These include – Turkish, Persian, Arabic and Armenian. He is self taught and plays by ear. Cieavash has performed all over the country, most recently, Woodford Folk Festival, QPAC,Customs House and Government House( playing with Master James Morrison),Multicultural Festival, Brisbane Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival and Brisbane Powerhouse. He played music for “Vikram and The Vampire ” by Michael and Hellen Futcher,and also composed and played music for a short film called FEARLESS by Mr Tamucin Mostafa.
Andy is an international performer and highly experienced music teacher. He has run a multitude of workshops in percussion and the broader skill of music making. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Andy plays darabuka, clarinet, alto sax, saxillo and other wind and percussion instruments. He is also a renowned vocalist in both Anglo and mawaal styles. Andy believes that music comes from the heart and soul and that learning an instrument needs to be a joyful experience. He believes that all elements of performance and teaching must have a deep sense of connection and communication built into them. Andy’s current project ‘Skorba’ has been achieving huge recognition around Australia.
Mike Taylor has been learning the music of the Middle East for the past 15 years and is a multi-instrumentalist, (oud, ney and percussion) and composer. Mike currently plays in Brisbane based bands Shanasheel Arabic Music Ensemble, East of West Trio and Mashrabiyya Duo, as well as working with national and international musicians when the occasion arises. In 2013 Mike formed the Australian Arabic Orchestra and produced and directed the El Haneen concerts in Brisbane and Byron Bay. Mike is committed to furthering an appreciation of Middle Eastern music in Australia and helping to develop a wider audience for this genre. He particularly loves the music of Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Turkey and has focused on learning repertoire from these countries. In 2017, Mike was awarded a professional development grant from Arts Queensland to attend the Labyrinth workshops in Crete and undertake further study with master of the oud, Adel Salameh, who he has been studying with (via Skype) since late 2015.
Tamara has been playing the Riq (Arabic tambourine) since 1997 when she started to learn percussion from master Egyptian drummer, Adel Amin. Starting out on Darbuka, Tamara quickly became lured towards the Riq because she was enchanted by the versatility of the instrument. With a love for music from all over the world, Tamara’s experience also includes playing Zimbabwean music with Marimba bands, Jangala Temple and Shamwari, and Brazillian percussion in the Brisbane Samba School, and in recent years she has taken up the Kora (West African harp). Tamara currently plays Riq with Shanasheel Arabic Music Ensemble and Mashrabiyya Duo (with husband Mike). Some of Tamara’s music performance highlights include playing in the camp cabaret bands, playing with Shanasheel at Woodford Folk Festival 2015/2016, playing with renowned Iraqi musician Anwar Abudragh at the Brisbane Powerhouse in 2009; as a guest with Tunji Beier and Linsey Pollack as part of their Shopska Salata act; with Andy Busuttil and master of the Oud, Christos Baltzidis at Woodford Folk Festival 2010 and in the 2013 Australian Arabic Orchestra’s El Haneen concerts.
Founder and creator of the Bahar Bayram camp, Tamara is motivated by her love of dance and music and her heartfelt desire to facilitate the opportunity for creativity and community for all.