Musical Journey on the Silk Road

HOUSTON, December 14, 2013 — The essence of Sound: The Encounter was best described by a New York Times headline following its New York debut at Asia Society last week. "Hybrid forms blossom where Middle Eastern instruments meet jazz." In Houston, the quartet was that and much more.

Sound: The Encounter, a new project conceived, curated and produced by the Aga Khan Music Initiative, brings together adventurous musicians from Iran and Syria. A packed audience needed little enticement from dancer-musician Saeid Shanbezadeh, whose sultry pelvic twists and turns gave the music an alluring rhythm. He led clapping and spiraled out amazing, head spinning choreography backed by mesmerizing and pulsating beats from percussionist Naghib Shanbezadeh. While saxophonist Basel Rajoub merged jazz tones with the pair, Kenan Adnawi's delicate oud added yet another layer to music inspired by the ancient Silk Road.

After two encores, it’s clear that the Houston audience was not only enjoying the ride but found themselves as fully engrossed passengers who didn’t want the musical journey to end.


Related Links

Houston Press: New Music from Iran and Syria: Saxophonist Basel Rajoub Discusses Sound: The Encounter

New York Times: Hybrid Forms Blossom Where Middle Eastern Instruments Meet Jazz

Culturebot: Intriguing Encounter: New Sounds From Iran at Asia Society

Time-Honored Musical Traditions of Iran and Syria Infused with Contemporary Vibe in Sound: The Encounter


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