Simon Shaheen

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Simon Shaheen (Arabic: سيمون شاهين; b. Tarshiha, Upper Galilee, Israel, 1955) is a Palestinian-American oud and violin virtuoso and composer.[1][2][3]

At the age of 2, Shaheen moved with his family to Haifa, but spent most of the weekends in Tarshiha, an Arab village in Israel. The Shaheen family is known for its musicality with music instructor and father Hikmat, oud-playing and instrument-making brother Najib, violinist and oud playing William, and singing sisters Laura and Rosette.[4][5][6]

Music career[edit]

He began playing the oud at 5, and the violin shortly thereafter.[7] He attended Tel Aviv University, earning degrees in Arabic literature and music performance.[8] He later pursued further studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1980 he emigrated to the United States to study music at the Manhattan School of Music and Columbia University, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen.[9][10]

He formed the Near Eastern Music Ensemble, which performs classical Arabic music, and organized annual Arabic music retreats and arts festivals.[9][11]

Shaheen, a Catholic Arab, lives in New York City, where he leads an Arabic ensemble called Qantara which he formed.[12] Qantara melds jazz, pop, and western classical music with Arabic elements.[1][13][14][15]

In 1994 he received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.[16][10]

In addition to his work in traditional and classical Arabic music, Shaheen has participated in many cross-cultural musical projects, including performing with producer Bill Laswell, Colombian singer Soraya, Henry Threadgill, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, and with Jewish klezmer musicians The Klezmatics.[17][18][19][20][21]

Select discography[edit]

  • 1990 – Music of Waheeb, Mango/Island/PolyGram
  • 1990 – The Music of Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Axiom/Island/PolyGram
  • 1992 – Turath (Heritage), CMP
  • 1993 – Taqasim: Art of Improvisation in Arabic Music
  • 1996 – Saltanah (with V. M. Bhatt), Water Lily Acoustics
  • 2001 – Blue Flame, Ark 21/Universal

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "SIMON SHAHEEN & QANTARA "Blue ... – The Washington Post | HighBeam Research – FREE trial". Highbeam.com. June 22, 2001. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  2. ^ Mitter, Siddhartha (October 10, 2008). "Simon Shaheen is an ambassador for traditional Arabic music – The Boston Globe". Boston.com. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  3. ^ Koehler, Robert (September 10, 1993). "Humble Means, Rich Sounds * Masters from far-flung origins will play their simple instruments in North Hollywood. Los Angeles Festival: "HOME, PLACE and MEMORY", A Citywide Arts Fest". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  4. ^ Rule, Sheila (November 7, 1994). "Ancient Oud Gets A Hearing In Brooklyn". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ Playing across a Divide: Israeli-Palestinian Musical Encounters: Israeli-Palestinian Musical Encounters. Oxford University Press. November 16, 2009. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-19-972113-9. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  6. ^ Nina Roberts (March 31, 2009). "He Plays Arab Music, Makes and Fixes Ouds". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Simon Shaheen & Qantara "Blue". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. June 22, 2001. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  8. ^ Rule, Sheila (October 29, 1994). "A Man and His Oud. How's That Again? – New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2001). All Music Guide: The Definitive Guide to Popular Music. Backbeat Books/All Media Guide. p. 924. ISBN 978-0-87930-627-4. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Benson, Kathleen; Kayal, Philip M. (2002). A Community of Many Worlds: Arab Americans in New York City. Syracuse University Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-8156-0739-7. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  11. ^ Kayyali, Randa A. (January 2006). The Arab Americans. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-313-33219-7. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  12. ^ . April 4, 1999 http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=PI&s_site=philly&p_multi=PI&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB5CDF937277F4E&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ Aaron Howard (September 6, 2001). "Simon Shaheen & Qantara – Page 1 – Music – Houston". Houston Press. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  14. ^ http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=NR&d_origin=transcripts&z=NR&p_theme=nr&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0F56FD0610572573&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Pareles, Jon (May 18, 2000). "At Central Park Summerstage, a World of Performers – New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  16. ^ Rule, Sheila (November 7, 1994). "Ancient Oud Gets A Hearing In Brooklyn". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  17. ^ Pareles, Jon (February 13, 1993). "Review/Music; Klezmer Meets Arabic Tradition – New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  18. ^ New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. March 11, 1996. p. 23. ISSN 00287369. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  19. ^ Wald, Elijah (2007). Global Minstrels: Voices of World Music. Routledge. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-415-97930-6. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  20. ^ Chuy Varela, Special to The Chronicle (May 16, 2006). "APPRECIATION / Soraya lost battle with cancer, but raised awareness". Sfgate.com. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  21. ^ Broughton, Simon; Ellingham, Mark; Trillo, Richard (2000). World Music: Latin and North America, Caribbean, India, Asia and Pacific. Rough Guides. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-85828-636-5. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 

External links[edit]