Skip to Main Content
Tags for: Tarek Abdallah & Adel Shams El-Din
  • Performance

Photo courtesy Alia Productions

Tarek Abdallah & Adel Shams El-Din

Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 7:30–9:30 p.m.
Location:  Gartner Auditorium
Gartner Auditorium

About The Event

Tarek Abdallah – oud, compositions
Adel Shams El-Din – riqq

The wasla is a particular expression of a musical suite developed by different Arab traditions—the type nuba in Africa or fasl in Syria. Besides its primary definition meaning “connecting,” the term wasla also refers to the specific Egyptian tradition which was practiced between the last third of the nineteenth century until the 1940s (nowadays referred to as the “classical musical suite”). This period called Nahda is considered the “Golden Age,” not only of this musical tradition, but also the art of Egyptian oud solo. His latest recording Wasla is a creation developed by Tarek Abdallah proposing to renew the relationship with the Golden Age of this musical tradition through a personal approach to composition, interpretation, and improvisation in the Egyptian musical suite.

Tarek Abdallah and Adel Shams El-Din, both from Alexandria, have lived in France for many years. However, they did not meet until very recently, in spring 2013, but what a meeting! Fluent in the language of Egyptian classical tradition, the duo evokes the fascinating history of this music while extending it with spirited and contemporary-inspired compositions. The shape of the duo offers these interpreters happy freedom.

About Tarek Abdallah, oud and voice
Born in Alexandria in 1975, composer and interpreter Tarek Abdallah draws his inspiration from the golden age of the art of Egyptian oud solo (1910–1930), which is in the center of his musicological researches at the University Lumière Lyon 2. Graduated in 2005 by the Arab Oud House in Cairo, he now lives in France and he is at present a PhD student in Musicology and multiplies the experiences connected to the transmission, to the broadcasting, and to the popularization of the knowledge bound to the Arabic Lute: courses, creations, and workshops throughout the Mediterranean. He also collaborates with artists of various traditions, from jazz to baroque, from contemporary dance, and theater to world music.

Abdallah first studied with Hazem Shaheen with whom he founded the group Eskenderella in February, 2000; then with the Iraqi Master Naseer Shamma at the House of the Arab Lute of Cairo which awarded him in January, 2005 the diploma of Soloist and Professor with the prize of excellence. At the same time, he studied with the Grand Master and the Egyptian composer Abdou Dagher as well as Moroccan singing with Saïd Chraïbi and Persian music with Dariush Talaï in the Abbey of Royaumont in France. In 2008 he obtained the diploma of Musical Studies (Traditional Musics - oud) of the National School of Villeurbanne. In 2009, he obtained a Master’s degree (Research and Professional) in Musicology of the University Lumière Lyon 2.
Abdallah has taught at House of Arab Lute of Constantine in Algeria, in the Sultanate of Oman and in the Egyptian Cultural center of Paris. He has also conducted oud workshops for the association La Ruche in Marseille. Since 2013, he has participated in workshops with children, proposed by Al Al Mawred Thaqafy / Culture Resource Foundation in Egypt and the Lebanon cultural program “Action for Hope.”

Tarek Abdallah has performed solo, in duet, or with artists of musical horizons as different as the Orchestra of Baroque-graffiti, Tommy Smith and Pino Iodice (jazz), Naseer Shamma and Eastern Orchestra (70 musicians among whom Ross Dali, Dhruba Gosh), the Orchestra of the House of the Arabic lute, Mustafa Saïd, Hazem Shaheen, Abdou Dagher, Saïd Chraïbi and Darius Tala’ ï in the Abbey of Royaumont; Sheik Zein Mahmoud (Egyptian Sufi singing), Bijan Chemirani (Iranian percussion), Manu Théron (Occitan singer) and now with the great master of Arab percussions Adel Shams El-Din. He has also composed for the theater, Anton Chekov’s play The Seagull, staged by Cie de L’Egrégore. He has accompanied the readings of French actors like Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Marie-Christine Barrault, Catherine Allégret or Jacques Bonnaffé within the framework of the prestigious Festival Le Marathon des Mots in Toulouse. He has also accompanied the Syrian actress Fadwa Suleiman at the Festival of Avignon 2012 and the French actor Boris Terral in the reading of “Le Premier Homme” by Albert Camus in Besançon festival "Les Mots Doubs,” France.

About Adel Shams El-Din, riqq
Already established with a reputation of master musician in his late twenties in Egypt, at the age of 30 Adel Shams El-Din left his double career as soloist with the Radio of Alexandria and mechanical engineer with the Egyptian railways to come to Europe and concentrate on his career as a musician. His exceptional technique, exquisite sound, and vast knowledge of rhythmic cycles from Middle Eastern music to jazz and flamenco, make him the most sought after riqq (classical Arabic tambourine) player on the international stage today. He insists on playing the traditional Egyptian fish skin riqqs because in his words, “The sound is the soul of the instrument; and that sound creates the soul of the music.”

Adel Shams El-Din was born in Alexandria in 1950. He is now considered one of the most talented riqq players on which he seems capable of resonating in turn each of the ten pairs of metal jingles around the instrument. He was introduced to percussion by his older brother Shams and made his stage debut at the age of 11. He studied with the brilliant composer and musicologist Fathi Guened who taught him not only the basic rhythms of percussion but also the Arab maqam and to read music, theory, and history.

El-Din made his professional debut in 1970 at the Alexandria radio, replacing the great master Samir Ben Yamine of the Opera Orchestra of Alexandria as riqq soloist. Arriving in France in 1979, he was quickly integrated into various oriental music groups, including Ensemble Al-Kindi, of which he is co-founder and with whom he has toured the world. He has also played with Syrian singers Sabri Moudallal, Adib Al-Dâyikh Omar Sarmini, and Hamza Abed Azrie Shakuur, with the grand master of Moroccan oud Said Chraibi, and with Tunisian singer Lotfi Bouchnak. He has also performed with international artists such as Jean-Michel Jarre, Michel Sanchez, and Zakir Hussein. He has recorded more than 50 CDs and has worked on a dozen film scores. He also recorded a solo album Forty Rhythms of the Middle East (Buda Musique).

$33–$45, CMA members $30–$40 

These programs made possible in part by the Ernest L. and Louise M. Gartner Fund, the P. J. McMyler Musical Endowment Fund, and the Anton and Rose Zverina Music Fund.

Series Sponsors  
 The Musart Society