Khaliji and Middle Eastern Jazz Concert

"Like two chemicals that flare upon touching, [Baronian's] music is a remarkable hybrid of two cultures."
—Boston Herald American 

"From the first rich resonant tones of Naser Musa's oud it is rare to find such an exotic variety of rhythms and songs together...capturing the heart and soul of its cultural source. The [songs] all feature Naser Musa's smooth talent on vocals and each is uniquely different, with many subtleties and changes that make listening a satisfying pleasure." —Mesmera

A beautiful concert for dancers and music lovers...Leave your worldly cares at the door, join us for a magical journey that weaves traditional Middle Eastern melodies and song with contemporary fusion compositions from Souren Baronian. Then travel along the Silk Road to the Gulf and listen to the desert music of the Bedouins known as khaliji, passionate songs of the Gulf Arabs, performed by oud master and vocalist Naser Musa and his ensemble. Naser Musa, Souren Baronian and friends perform to help raise funds for the new arts center for the greater Middle East, The Markaz (the center). One night only! Tickets just $25 General Admission/$35 Preferred, or $75 VIP front row seating plus a gift bag.

This is a benefit concert to support the new Arts Center for the Greater Middle East, The Markaz. Come enjoy the best of the best in Los Angeles and contribute to a worthy cause, The Markaz, fighting bias and intolerance, building a stronger Arab, Iranian, Middle Eastern community center.


Naser Musa is recognized by critics of Middle Eastern music as a talented singer, a gifted songwriter, an oud virtuoso, an award winning composer, and a versatile studio musician. He has composed, arranged, and recorded numerous projects in the Middle East and in the United States. His recordings include the Arabia sound track; Khaliji, a collection of folk songs from the Arabian Gulf region; and Christmas and Beyond, a collection of Western Christmas carols and Arabic church hymns. Naser Musa appears on dozens of albums, including contributions on projects for Hollywood with John Debney and John Cameron among others. He has recorded with pop stars Shakira, Beyonce and Michael Sembello, and has shared the stage with Lebanese vocalists, Sabah and Ragheb Alame, and Egyptian vocalists, Hani Shaker and Hakim. Naser's oud was heard on the soundtrack of the film The Passion of the Christ by director Mel Gibson.

Souren "Sudan" Baronian
 grew up in Spanish Harlem riding two powerful currents of his creativity: his ethnic Armenian heritage, and jazz. His own music is an authentic organic hybrid of those two idioms. The sound of his band is truly unique, applying a jazz vocabulary and the bebop sensibility of Charlie Parker and Lester Young to Middle Eastern rhythms on traditional instruments such as the oud, qanun, G-clarinet and percussions. He perfected his craft in study with saxophonist Warne Marsh, the late master teacher Lennie Tristano, and with greats of the Middle Eastern world. The influence of such creators as Lester Young and Charlie Parker is also eident in his playing. Besides being a powerful reedman, bandleader and the principal composer of Taksim's repertoire, Souren is a multi-instrumentalist, percussionist and teacher who travels the world sharing his kowledge in local workshops. OVer the years he has made individual appearanes at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, the Bottom Line, and on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Jim Grippo [qanun, oud] began started playing music as a child and soon discovered his true passion, improvisation. As he matured, he delved into jazz, punk, experimental improvisatory groups, and composition for film, art and dance. But it wasn't until his arrival at the University of California, Santa Barbara, that he found the perfect medium, Middle Eastern music. He joined the UCSB Middle East Ensemble 20 years ago and is now one of their lead instrumentalists; under the accomplished leadership of Dr. Scott Marcus, the ensemble performs music from Morocco to Iran, from Turkey to Egypt. It is this impressive variety, united with his past experiences, that has honed Jim's ability to play within numerous idioms. He started playing the oud (lute), studying maqam (Arab modal theory) and taqasim (improvisation) with Dr. Marcus, and later in Egypt with master oud player Dr. Hussein Saber. A few years later he devoted himself to the qanun (plucked zither), studying with ‘Ala Saber in Egypt. Because of Jim's diverse musical background, his exposure to myriad Middle Eastern and Balkan music cultures, and mastery of his instruments, he is a highly sought-after performer. Some of his most memorable performances include Every classroom lecture/performance for students from preschool to college, reception for Queen Noor, Cairo Opera House and Cultural Palaces, House of Lebanon fundraiser with Jay Leno, soundtrack for IMAX Arabia 3D, Taiwan tour, Gorillaz North America Tour (2010), and is currently recording on the new FX series, Tyrant.

Paul Ohanesian [oud and percussion], is an exceptionally talented, well-known and well-respected member of the Bay Area Middle Eastern music and dance community who has been playing Middle Eastern music at festivals, clubs, and other cultural events since his youth. Among his musical influences are Richard Hagopian, John Bilezikjian, the legendary Syrian-born oud master Farid Al Atrashe and the Iraqi oud master Munir Bashir.

Rowan Storm [percussion and vocals] With more than 25 years of experience with cultures and drumming of the Middle East and Mediterranean, Rowan Storm is recognized internationally as a performer and educator. Rowan brings freshness to tradition with her teaching method and frame drum designs, including the Thinline Frame Drums by Remo and her signature Rowan Storm Dayereh by Cooperman, now also produced by Remo. Throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, Rowan has studied and performed with some of the greatest masters of Middle Eastern music. Maintaining a full international concert and workshop schedule, Rowan plays and teaches a wide vocabulary of drumming styles, and sings in several languages.

  • July 25, 2015 at 7:30pm – 10:30pm
  • The Pico Union Project
    1153 Valencia St
    Los Angeles, CA 90015
    United States
    Google map and directions
  • $25.00 USD
  • Jordan


Will you come?

$75.00 VIP front section and gift bag
$35.00 Preferred reserved seating
$25.00 General

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