Basel Rajoub is a saxophonist and composer-improviser who creates contemporary tradition-based music inspired by Middle Eastern rhythms and melodic modes as well as jazz. Born in Aleppo, Syria, he graduated from the Damascus High Institute of Music and is a winner of Radio Monte Carlo’s Moyen-Orient Music Award. Basel is active in a variety of contemporary music groups that bring together musicians from different parts of the Middle East, North Africa, and West Asia, and is the founder and leader of the Basel Rajoub ensemble. Basel lives in Geneva, Switzerland.
Andrea Piccioni is considered one of the leaders worldwide on frame drums and author of a technical and stylistic renewal on the Italian Tamburello, has crossed with his style the boundaries of jazz, world, and early music. He touring worldwide with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Paul McCandless, Gianluigi Trovesi, Basel Rajoub, Luciano Biondini, Manfred Leuchter, Lucilla Galeazzi, Les Haulz et les Bas, Caitríona O’Leary, Dónal Lunny. It is also a popular teacher at major festivals, universities and conservatories around the world.
Feras Chahrestan, was born in 1982 in Al-Hasakeh in the North-East of Syria. He finished studying the qanun at the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus in 2006. During his studies, he began to perform regularly as a soloist with international artists and orchestras, such as the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Syrian Symphonic Orchestra. In 2007 he became a qanun teacher at the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus. He took part in many studio recordings in Syria and Lebanon, with Fairuz, Marcel Khalifeh, and Ziad Rahbany amongst others. Feras is also one of the founding members of the Soriana Project, Contemporary Music from the Orient is a body of musical works by Syrian composer and instrumentalist Basel Rajoub. The project features collaborations with like-minded artists celebrating their heritage and paying homage to the gift of musical knowledge. Feras currently lives in Sweden, and is completing a Master's degree in Music at the Folk Music Department of the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden.
COLLABORATIONS WITH GUEST MUSICIANS
Lynn Adib was born in Damascus, Syria and started singing at the age of 6 at the "Al Farah Choir" mentored by Father Elias Zehlaoui. A graduate of the Syrian National Conservatory, Lynn is a singer and composer whose beautiful voice speaks to diverse audiences in many parts of the globe. Today, Lynn performs widely with several vocal projects and is studying classical jazz at the Conservatoire de Paris in her hometown of Paris, France.
Recognised as the world’s premier pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Grammy Award-nominated musician Wu Man has carved out a career as a soloist, educator and composer giving her lute-like instrument – (which has a history of over 2,000 years in China) – a new role in both traditional and contemporary music. Having been brought up in the Pudong School of pipa playing, Wu Man is now recognised as an outstanding exponent of the traditional repertoire as well as a leading interpreter of contemporary pipa music by today’s most prominent composers. Wu Man’s efforts were recognised when she was named Musical America’s 2013 Instrumentalist of the Year, the first time this prestigious award has been bestowed on a player of a non-Western instrument. Wu Man performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for the world premiere of Zhao Jiping’s Concerto for Pipa and Orchestra, the U.S. premiere of the piece with the Santa Rosa Symphony, and went on to perform the concerto with the Buffalo, Fresno, and Louisiana philharmonic orchestras, and the Hartford and Illinois symphonies. She was a featured performer with the Kronos Quartet at their 40th Anniversary Celebration concert at Carnegie Hall, and performed solo recitals at Cal Performances and at Wigmore Hall in the United Kingdom. She also continues to tour with the Silk Road Ensemble and serve as part of the ensemble’s leadership team. Born in Hangzhou, China, Wu Man became the first recipient of a master’s degree in pipa at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Wu man moved to the U.S. in 1990 and currently resides in California.
Sirojiddin Juraev comes from a lineage of dutar players in his native region of northern Tajikistan. He studied at the Music College in Khujand and at Khujand University, and after that, at the Academy of Maqam, in Dushanbe, with ustad, Abduvali Abdurashidov. He now teaches dutar in the National Conservatory in Dushanbe, and is a Fullbright Scholar from the Harvard School of Music.