Joseph Tawadros

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Joseph Tawadros
Joseph Tawadros 2014.jpg
Tawadros at the 2014 ARIA Music Awards, Sydney, November 26th, 2014
Background information
Born (1983-10-06) October 6, 1983 (age 36)
OriginCairo, Egypt
Genresjazz, World music, Classical
Years active1995—present

Joseph Tawadros AM (born 1983 in Cairo, Egypt) is a Coptic Australian oud virtuoso.[1] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2012 he won Best World Music Album for Concerto of the Greater Sea, he won the same category in 2013 for Chameleons of the White Shadow and in 2014 for Permission to Evaporate.


His family emigrated from Egypt to Australia when he was three.[2] Initially attracted to the trumpet, he decided to learn the oud when he was eight, after seeing a movie about Egyptian musician Sayed Darwish.[3] He is classically trained, having completed a bachelor of music at the University of New South Wales, where he was awarded a Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music.[2] In the 2000s, he also studied in Egypt with violin player Esawi Dagher, son of the legendary violin player Abdo Dagher. During the years that followed, he spent three months a year in Egypt and learned to play other instruments: the bamboo flute nay, the Arabic zither qanun and the cello.[3] He won the Australian Recording Industry Award in 2012 for the Best World Music Album.[4] He had been nominated nine times before, without winning.[5] He won it again in 2013 and 2014.[6][7]


Joseph Tawadros’ style could be described as eclectic. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, "he has taken the oud out of its traditional Middle Eastern setting and into the realm of classical music and jazz".[2] "I don't like to play in a particulare genre, I love all sorts of music", Tawadros explains. "I try to record an album a year and one that's totally different from the previous album".[8] He has collaborated with musicians such as John Abercrombie, Jack DeJohnette, Roy Ayers, Bela Fleck, Joey DeFrancesco, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and The Academy of Ancient Music.

Joseph Tawadros plays 52 instruments on his album World Music (including oud, qanun, saz, violin, ney, Portuguese guitar, electric bass, kalimba and accordion) and his brother James 11 percussion instruments.[9]



  • 2004 – Storyteller (solo oud)
  • 2005 – Rouhani (with Bobby Singh (tabla))
  • 2006 – Visions (with James Tawadros (req))
  • 2007 – Epiphany (with James Tawadros (req) and Ben Rodgers (bass guitar))
  • 2008 – Angel (with James Tawadros (req and bendir), Matt McMahon (piano) and Dimitri Vouros (clarinet))
  • 2009 – The Prophet – Music inspired by the poetry of Kahlil Gibran (solo oud)
  • 2010 – The Hour of Separation (with James Tawadros (req), John Abercombie (electric guitar), John Patitucci (double bass), Jack DeJohnette (special guest on drums on four tracks))
  • 2011 – Band of Brothers (with Leonard Grigoryan (guitar), Slava Grigoryan (guitar) and James Tawadros (req, bendir and cajon))
  • 2012 – Concerto of The Greater Sea (with Richard Tognetti (violin) and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, James Tawadros (req and bendir), Matt McMahon (piano), Christopher Moore (viola))
  • 2013 – Chameleons of the White Shadow (with Bela Fleck (banjo), Roy Ayers (vibraphone), Richard Bona (electric bass), Joey DeFrancesco (Hammond organ), James Tawadros (req and bendir), Jean-Louis Matinier (accordion) and Howard Johnson (Tuba))
  • 2014 – Permission to Evaporate (with Christian McBride (double bass), Matt MacMahon (piano), Mike Stern (electric guitar) and James Tawadros (req and bendir))
  • 2015 – Truth Seekers Lovers and Warriors (with James Crabb (accordion), James Greening (trombone), Matt McMahon (piano) and James Tawadros (req and bendir))
  • 2016 – World Music (with Joseph Tawadros (52 instruments, including oud qanun, ney, violin and saz) and James Tawadros (11 percussion instruments including req, bendir and cajon))
  • 2017 – Ali's Wedding - Soundtrack (with Slava Grigoryan (guitar), Lior (vocals), Nigel Westlake and The Sydney Symphony Orchestra)
  • 2017 – Live at Abbey Road (with James Tawadros (req and bendir))
  • 2018 – The Bluebird, the Mystic and the Fool (with Matt McMahon (piano), Dimitri Vouros (clarinet), Karl Dunnicliff (double bass) and James Tawadros (req, bendir and cajon))
  • 2019 – Betrayal of a Sacred Sunflower (with Damian De-Boos Smith (electric guitar), Veronique Serret (violin), James Greening (trombone) and Luke Howard (piano))

Musical scores[edit]

Music scores composed for the following films:

  • I Remember 1948 (documentary)
  • The Last Days of Yasser Arafat (documentary)
  • Haneen (short film)
  • Checkpoint (short film)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Creagh, Sunanda (1 November 2006). "Joseph Tawadros – Gig Reviews". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Creagh, Sunanda (27 October 2012). "From ancient strings, a new mood for the oud". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Long journey from Redfern to a world of musical riches for Joseph Tawadros". The Australian. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  4. ^ Creagh, Sunanda (28 March 2013). "Oud player keeps good company". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  5. ^ "Oud player hits the high notes". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "2014 ARIA Awards Connected By Telstra : Nominated artists revealed" (PDF). Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  8. ^ "The Dreamers. Joseph Tawadros". mapmagazine. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  9. ^ Shand, John (15 April 2016). "Joseph Tawadros review : Only eight instruments? he's not trying hard enough". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 23 April 2016.

External links[edit]