In his upcoming series of concerts, Ziad Rahbani (Ziad Al-Rahbani) is joined by Hazem Shaheen and Shereen Abdo from Egypt alongside Syrian Manal Samaan, performing compositions by Rahbani.
The first concert, which is part of Beirut Holiday 2014 Festival, will take place on Thursday 7 August at Beirut Souks, Lebanon. The line-up will give more performances until the end of August.
Born in 1956, Rahbani is a well-known composer, pianist and playwright. He is son of the famous Lebanese composer Assi Rahbani (1923-1986) and Fairuz (Nuhad Haddad), Lebanese singer and one of the most widely acclaimed artists of the Arab World. Rahbani is also a political commentator, publishing in the Lebanese papers and appearing regularily on the radio.
Rahbani is known for his many colaborations with musicians from the region, among them Manal Samaan and Shaheen. For Abdo this is her first appearance alongside the Lebanese musician.
Syrian singer Manal Samaan joins Rahbani on many occasions. The duo performed together during the second edition of the Cairo International Jazz Festival (CIJF) that was held in El Sawy Culturewheel in Cairo in 2010. In 2013, Rahbani returned to Cairo to perform at the 5th edition of CIJF.
Hazem Shaheen, vocalist, oud player and composer is best known for his work with Eskederella band of which he is also a founding member. Over the past years, Eskenderella, band that fuses oriental jazz with folkloric motives, gained a significant local and regional fan database. Apart of their original compositions, Eskenderella performs works by Sayyid Darwish, Sheikh Imam and Ziad Rahbani.
Shereen Abdo, a young Egyptian vocalist and songwriter, who will give her first performance with the renowned Lebanese musician, has previously cooperated with Sheikh Zein and Fathy Salama, and performed with Habaybna band.
Following the first studio rehearsal with Rahbani, Abdo expressed her excitement on her Facebook wall, stating: "First rehearsal with the humble, sweet, hillarious and genius Ziad Rahbani in his studio where Lady Fairouz recorded her albums!"
In further communicaton with Ahram Online, Abdo revealed that Rahbani reached out to her after he had listened to her work posted on YouTube and Soundcloud.
Abdo reveals that cooperation in such a setting is an important step in shaping her musical development. "I will learn how to make music with large number of musicians," Abdo commented on the experience to Ahram Online. "This work allows me to explore the best forms of Arabic jazz while absorbing Rahbani's greatness."
Shereen Abdo is a composer herself, a representative of the emerging "folk movement," as she describes herself. In her music she entwines Egyptian traditional music elements with new artistic concepts and sets the music heritage into original contemporary frames.
In parallel to her committments with Rahbani, Abdo is working on her first album Extremental that will be released at the beginning of 2015. The album, which will fuse Egyptian folk with rock, will include Abdo's origial compositions with arrangements by Sherif Alaa.