Suphala with Tareq Abboushi
South Terrace Stage
Suphala is one of the most versatile young tabla artists making music today. She combines an unparalleled technical command of her instrument with a playful sense of experimentation as she switches effortlessly between composing, producing and performing. Suphala is a protégé of the great tabla masters Ustad Allarakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain, whose constant inspiration compels her not only to dedicate herself to the study of Indian classical music but also to extend the reach of the tabla into an ever-growing variety of musical genres and cultural contexts. Her fluency in a diversity of musical traditions informs her unique compositions and her highly improvisational performances.
The music she has recorded and released goes beyond the limits of genre and style while referencing such diverse influences as Western classical, Indian classical, jazz, folk and soul. She made history in early 2005 when she traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan as the first musician to play in public since the fall of the Taliban. According to The New York Times, “Kabul’s badly depleted music scene received a welcome injection of excitement last week. [Her] arrival… caused a sensation in the war-torn country. ‘I have not played with a woman before,’ one Afghan tabla master said. ‘Our grandfathers do not even know of it.’”
With her unique rhythmic and melodic vocabulary and production chops that are both rigorous and inventive, this next phase of Suphala’s evolving musical expression is bound to continue a trajectory rooted in a deep understanding of the proud legacy of the tabla and a passionate commitment to expand the scope of its expression and to communicate it to the wider world.
Tareq Abboushi is a Palestinian multi-instrumentalist, composer and bandleader. He has played the buzuq since 1997, and also studied classical and jazz piano at William Paterson University (NJ). Upon graduating with honors, he embarked on a performance career touring with bands throughout the US as well as Canada and the Middle East. His diverse musical background helped him thrive in New York City for nine years, and allowed him to collaborate with such notable musicians as Simon Shaheen, Lotfi Bouchnak, Sonia M’barek, Charbel Rouhana, Rima Khcheich, Omar Farouk Tekbilek, and Dan Zanes.
His teaching career involves Arab music lecture demonstrations and workshops at Columbia University, NYU, Juilliard, Museum of the City of NY, Bahrain's Spring of Culture Festival, Agder University in Norway, and The National Conservatory of Music in Palestine where he is currently positioned.
His participation in film scores include the award-winning Encounter Point (Best Musical Score, Bend Film Festival, 2006), Chicken Heads (Best Short Film 2010 Dubai Film Festival), as well as two films by Jonathan Demme: Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains and the Oscar-nominated Rachel Getting Married. His discography includes One and Mumtastic with his band SHUSMO, Amir ElSaffar's Two Rivers and Inana, Gaida's Levantine Indulgence, and Dan Zanes’ Little Nut Tree, Parades and Panoramas, House Party and Night Time! (winner of Amazon.com’s Best Children's CD-2002).
In 2012, Abboushi won second place in the composition category of the Palestinian National Music Competition, and in 2013 he was awarded citizenship by the USA as a musician of extraordinary ability.