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MUSICIAN Born:

Kane Mathis

Performing on the 21-string Mandinka Harp and the Turkish Oud, Kane Mathis renders compelling interpretations of these traditional musics. Years of study with generous masters have given Kane a rare opportunity to share these traditions with other cultures. Kane began taking trips to The Gambia, West Africa in 1997 and has continued rigorous study of the Mandinka Kora. Over the past ten years his performances have earned him recognition by the Gambian president, The Gambian minister of culture, and both national television and radio of The Gambia. Kane’s primary kora teachers are Malamini Jobarteh of Brikama, The Gambia and Moriba Kouyate of The Gambia. The Jobarteh family remain one of The Gambia’s most important musical legacies

MUSICIAN Born:

Jussi Reijonen

THIRD CULTURE MUSICIAN third culture individual: a person born into the cultural environment of his/her/their parents but raised in (an)other(s), consequently forming a non-binary third culture of his/her/their own. cultural hybrid; cultural chameleon; global nomad. Born in Rovaniemi, a small town on the Arctic Circle in Northern Finland, fretted/fretless guitarist and oud player Jussi Reijonen is truly the product of a world without frontiers. Having grown up in Finnish Lapland, the Middle East and East Africa, and currently living in Boston MA, USA, Jussi has spent his life soaking up the sounds, sights, scents and shades of Nordic, Middle Eastern, African and American culture, all of which are reflected in his handwriting as composer and performer

MUSICIAN Born:

Alex Wing

Alex Wing is a guitarist, bassist, oud player and creative musician living in Chicago. In addition to leading his own groups (Alex Wing Group, People In Trouble) He has played with Nicole Mitchell, David Boykin, Shanta Nurullah, Magic Carpet, Wanees Zarour, Hanah Jon Taylor, Douglas Ewart, Avreeayl Ra, Issa Boulos, Jeff Marx, Saalik Ziyad, and many more. Wing is a co-founder of Sonic Healing Ministries (with David Boykin, Nicole Mitchell, Joel Wanek, Ben Boye, Jayve Montgomery and Dan Godston), which has run a free improvisation jam session on the south side of Chicago on and off for almost 20 years.

MUSICIAN Born:

Mehmet Polat Trio

The Mehmet Polat Trio is a spiritual yet adventurous meeting of three virtuosos of magical instruments: ney, kora and ud. With roots in the Ottoman, ancient Anatolian, Balkan and West African music traditions, the trio welcomes listeners with its musical authenticity. The original compositions are colored by daring improvisations and grooves, presented in an atmosphere of chamber music. The Mehmet Polat Trio invites its audiences on a sincere musical journey from the traditional past to an innovative present.The music of the Mehmet Polat Trio was a cure for the soul with the sincerity and pure emotions of their songs

MUSICIAN Born:
MUSICIAN Born:

Nashaz

Brooklyn-based musician Brian Prunka was already an accomplished jazz guitarist in New Orleans when a series of events led him to become a beginner again, learning the oud (Arabic fretless lute) and Arabic music from the ground up. Fifteen years later, he is the leader of Nashaz, a group that finds unexpected kinship between jazz and traditional Arabic music, garnering praise and support from Arabic music luminaries like Simon and Najib Shaheen, Youssef Kassab, and Ray Rashid in response to their recently released self-titled album (www.nashazmusic.com). The journey took him from New Orleans to Brooklyn, and eventually to Haifa and Ramallah, in the process finding his own voice with an authenticity that has won him respect within the Arabic music community, whether performing with Simon Shaheen's Qantara, Zikrayat, or the New York Arabic Orchestra

MUSICIAN Born:

Brandon Terzic

Brandon Terzic was born in Akron, Ohio in 1976. His musical journey commenced at the age of eight, when his father played him the recordings of Jimi Hendrix. Although he wouldn’t begin playing until he was fifteen, his passion and interest was already kindled and sparked. After immersing himself into a total study of Blues music, and playing a handful of gigs with his first band, Terzic abrubtly quit playing at the age of 19, sold all his guitars, and flew to Europe. This began a life long obsession of traveling solo and seeking inspiration and knowledge from being alone on foreign shores

Dhafer Youssef

Late junction (BBC) presenter Fiona Talkington explains how an exceptional young Tunisian musician found his creative home in Europe. A small seaside town in Tunisia in the 1970s. A boy walks along a deserted shoreline picking up the odds and ends he finds lying around: A broken fishing net; a few discarded sardine cans; spokes from an old bicycle. His heart and mind are full of music and he wants to play. It's as much as his father can do to put food on the table for Dhafer and his seven brothers and sisters. There certainly isn't spare money for music lessons, let alone for an instrument

Ara Dinkjian

Ara Dinkjian is best known as the founder of the highly influential and groundbreaking instrumental group, NIGHT ARK, which recorded four CDs for RCA/BMG and PolyGram/Universal. His compositions have been recorded in thirteen different languages by top singers and musicians throughout the world (including Eleftheria Arvanitaki and Sezen Aksu), proving that music is indeed the international language. His hit “Homecoming” (“Dinata Dinata”) was performed at the closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympics. Ara Dinkjian is also considered one of the top oud players in the world. He was chosen to represent the Armenians in the international oud festivals of Jerusalem and Thessaloniki

Rahim Alhaj

Rahim AlHaj, virtuoso oud musician and composer, was born in Baghdad, Iraq and began playing the oud (the grandfather of all stringed instruments) at age nine. Early on, it was evident that he had a remarkable talent for playing the oud. Mr. Alhaj studied under the renowned Munir Bashir, considered by many to be the greatest oud player ever, and Salim Abdul Kareem, at the Institute of Music in Baghdad, Iraq. Mr. AlHaj won various awards at the Conservatory and graduated in 1990 with a diploma in composition. He holds a degree in Arabic Literature from Mustunsariya University in Baghdad. In 1991, after the first Gulf War, Mr


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