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Adel Salameh, musician

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 07.12.2007:

Palestinian ‘oud player and composer Adel Salameh was born in Nablus, Palestine, in 1966 and grew up in Tulkarm.

At an early age, Adel showed great interest and passion for the ‘oud. Adel was fascinated by Farid Al-Atrash and learned all his songs by heart. He asked his father to buy him an ‘oud, so his father went to the famous Palestinian ‘oud maker Abu Ala and asked him to make an ‘oud for Adel … and the story began there. Adel studied with his first teacher, Khaled Sadouq, in Tulkarm.

In 1985 Adel went to Jordan to study at Yarmouk University. During his stay in Jordan, he met the Iraqi ‘oud master Munir Bashir, and Bashir asked Adel to come to study in Iraq with Mu’taz Bayati. During that period Adel studied all the compositions of Sherif Mohi Eldin Haider.

He started to perform 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 ‘oud performers. He has performed in more than fifty countries, including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, South Africa, and numerous countries in North Africa, Europe, and North America.

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, and English musicians in a variety of genres, including jazz.

Adel has worked with WOMAD/Real World since 1992, and has performed at the most prestigious concert halls in Europe. These include the Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican Centre in London; Concertgebouw, the Royal Tropical Institute, and Paradiso in Amsterdam; Theatre d’ Single (Antwerp) in Belgium; the Institute of the Arab World in Paris; the Opera House and the Auditorium in Lyon; and the Sydney Opera House. He has also performed at many festivals throughout the world. He has been described as the ambassador of Arab music in the West.

Adel was greatly influenced by the great Iraqi ‘oud master Munir Bashir and the Egyptian legendary composer Mohamed Abdel Wahab.

Adel was commissioned to compose the music for the theatre play A Thousand and One Nights, which was a great success in Lyon, in which he and his ensemble presented more than 40 shows during the summer of 2007.

Adel has composed more than 100 musical works and has recorded 7 CDs: Solo, Pastorale Records, Japan (later released on Playasound, France); The Arab Path to India, with sarod player K. Sridhar, Real World Records, England; Mediterraneo, with Spanish guitarist Eduardo Niebla, Riverboat Records, England; and Kanza, Hafla, and Rissala, with the Algerian singer Naziha Azzouz, ENJA Records, Germany.

Adel will perform with his trio in the Ramallah Cultural Palace on December 17, 2007, at 7:00 p.m. This concert is organised by the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music and supported by the A.M. Qattan Foundation.

This Week in Palestine

December 2007

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