Sound: The Encounter, New Music from Iran and Syria


Crossroads Asia

Saeid Shanbehzadeh, neyanban, neyjoti, boogh horns, dance, vocals
Basel Rajoub, saxophones, duclar
Naghib Shanbehzadeh, tombak/zarb, darbuka
And guest artist Kenan Adnawi, oud

A collection of newly-developed and arranged musical pieces inspired by the millennium-old musical legacy of the ancient Silk Route, inspired by traditional musical forms and styles and re-imagined within a new frame. Featured music pieces, rooted in a tradition of rhythms and compositional forms, are contemporary in their expression. The result is music that could only have emerged from artists whose own musical journeys have zigzagged back and forth between cultures and influences in a very unique way, creating music that is at once seamless and surprising. Occasional jazz-inflected harmonies, finely etched exchanges of percussion timbres and rhythms, and filigree ornamentation of the wind instruments and vocals provide freshness and intense focus on the color of sound. Presented in association with Asia Society New York.


Saeid Shanbehzadeh

Acclaimed Iranian musician and dancer Saeid Shanbezadeh traces his ancestry to Zanzibar in East Africa. Born in Busher, he is a virtuoso performer on Iranian bagpipes and percussion, as well as zar song and dance. Winner of the Fajr Music Festival (Teheran), he leads the conversation with a small consort of instruments that becomes a vehicle for improvisation in a sequence of virtuosic solo breaks accompanied by sustained drones and percussion.


Saeid Shanbehzadeh


Basel Rajoub

Basel Rajoub hails from Aleppo, Syria. A graduate of Damascus High Institute of Music and winner of Radio Monte Carlo Moyen-Orient Music Award, Basel is known as a consummate performer, skilled improviser, and highly original composer creating new music that is rooted in a thousand-year-old tradition. Known for developing oriental music for the saxophone and merging jazz with Middle Eastern rhythms, Basel performs as a solo artist and a leader of the Basel Rajoub Ensemble.


Basel Rajoub


Naghib Shanbehzadeh

Naghib Shanbehzadeh is a disciple of master Mahmoud Farahmand and a virtuoso percussionist from a very early age. Naghib tours widely with the Saeid Shanbehzadeh ensemble and participates in artistic collaborations worldwide.


Naguib Shanbehzadeh


Kenan Adnawi

Kenan Adnawi joined the High Music Institute in Damascus, Syria in 2003 where he studied Oud with Azerbaijani expert Askar Ali Akbar and graduated in 2008. Idnawi has since accompanied Marcel Khalife in his Al-­‐Mayadeen Ensemble in Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Austria, and Lebanon, and has played with the Qatar Philharmonic, under the direction of world renowned Maestro Lorin Maazel, for its inaugural concert in October 2008. He toured with the Qatar Philharmonic in 2009, and performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Theater des Champs-­‐Elysees in Paris, La Scala in Milan, and Teatro Massimo in Palermo where he played the Arabian Concerto composed by Marcel Khalife. In 2009, he won first place in the International Oud Competition in Beirut, Lebanon.


Kenan Adnawi


Video: Sound: The Encounter in Performance


Related Events and Exhibition

Sound: The Encounter, Lecture/Demonstration at Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center, 12/15
Sound: The Encounter, New Music from Iran and Syria at Asia Society New York

Iran Modern, On view at Asia Society New York through January 5, 2014


Related Links

Houston Press: New Music from Iran and Syria: Saxophonist Basel Rajoub Discusses Sound: The Encounter
Culturebot: Intriguing Encounter: New Sounds From Iran at Asia Society


Artist tour generously supported by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture/Aga Khan Music Initiative. Additional support provided by Bank of America and Asia Society Texas Center's
donors and members. Asia Society Texas Center is funded in part by a grant from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

Aga Khan Trust for Culture Music InitiativeBank of AmericaCity of HoustonHouston Arts Alliance

Event Details

Sat 14 Dec 2013
7:30 p.m.-
1370 Southmore Blvd. Houston, TX 77004 713.496.9901
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$25 Members, $30 Nonmembers. All sales final.
Add to Calendar 20131215T013000 20131215T013000 UTC Asia Society: Sound: The Encounter, New Music from Iran and Syria 1370 Southmore Blvd. Houston, TX 77004 713.496.9901
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