Omar Bashir (musician)
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The Crazy Oud 2010
|Native name||عمر بشير|
May 1, 1970 |
|Instruments||Oud, guitar, piano|
|Years active||1990s – present|
Omar Bashir was born in Budapest in 1970, and started playing the oud with his father at the age of five. He joined the Baghdad Music and Ballet School and eventually created his own band, which toured in many countries. In 1991, he left for Budapest and joined the Franz Liszt Academy.
Omar performed as a soloist and with his father Munir until his death in 1997. During his career, he toured many countries and released more than 19 albums. His music is a mix of traditional Arabic music with a jazz-like improvisation.
At the age of five, Bashir left Hungary with his parents to live in Iraq, where he grew up. The oud which he uses in his performances is in the same one that he used as a child.
At the age of seven, Bashir joined the Baghdad Music and Ballet School, the arts school he was attending when he made his oud solo debut at the age of nine, at the Baghdad Conservatory. In his late teens, he became a teacher at the Baghdad Music and Ballet School, creating his own band of 24 musicians specialising in classical Iraqi music. Bashir's debut with his father Munir Bashir was at the age of 13, and by the age of 20, he was regularly performing alongside his father.
In 1991, Bashir's parents moved back to Hungary, where he studied piano, singing and direction of choir at the Liszt Ferenc University, continuing to work and perform oud duets with his father until the latter's death in 1997. The pair performed internationally, touring various Arab countries, the United States, Canada, and Russia.
The death of his father marked a turning point in Omar Bashir's musical career. He collaborated with many international artists, on one occasion being granted copyright by the Gipsy Kings to perform one of their songs.
Bashir has won much recognition and many international awards for his work and musical achievement. He has performed internationally in prestigious musical halls and often in the presence of notable figures.
On the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Omar Bashir came to the United States by official invitation from the Institute of Arab Music and the United States government. The aim was to raise funds for the Iraqi Symphony Orchestra, which was brought over to perform in the United States. He also took part in various charity performances to raise funds for Iraqi children.
Musical works and performances
Omar Bashir released a total of 20 CDs. His album Crazy Oud was released in 2010 by the record company EMI. The sales of this CD has topped the charts in several Arab countries. Below is a listing of all of the albums he has released, in chronological order:
- Duet of the Two Bashirs: Munir and Omar - 1994, dubbed by French papers at the time to be the "best musical performance."
- From the Euphrates to the Danube - 1997, a mix of oud and Western music. The title of this CD refers to the two rivers generally near where he grew up and where he was born, respectively.
- Ashwaq - 1998, a solo oud performance
- My Memories - 1998, included the oud and percussion instruments
- Flamenco Night - 1998, a recording of the last concert that Omar played with his father, before the latter's death
- Al Andalus - 1999, the first-ever combination of oud and guitar, produced by Shahin Production in Lebanon
- Zikrayati - 1999. The song, whose title means "my memories," was played using oud and percussion.
- Live Solo Oud Performance - 2000, played in Beirut, Lebanon
- Sound of Civilizations - 2001, Buddha Bar style of music
- To My Father - 2002, used oud and percussion to play and improvise pieces performed together with his father
- Gypsy Oud - 2003, a combination of oud and Hungarian Gypsy music
- Latin Oud - 2004, the first time that Latin tunes were played on the oud
- Oud Hawl al Alam ("Oud Around the World") - 2004, played first at a live concert in Budapest, this was the first time that music from the oud and guitar were combined
- Crazy Oud - 2010, involves various styles of music, such as Iraqi Maqam, Rumba, Flamenco, blues, ambient, classical, folklore, and improvisation
- Masters of Oud - 2010, duets performed by Munir and Omar Bashir and released by EMI, which created the CD remixes "Baghdad Blues - Desert Launch", "Mesopotamix" and "Café du Paris".
- Takasim - 2012, a solo oud recording produced by INEDIT Records
- The Dancing Oud - 2014
Concerts and tours
Omar Bashir has undertaken several tours in various countries. His tours in Lebanon include performances at the Almadina Theater in Beirut and Alhariri Theater in Sajda. In Egypt, Bashir has performed at the Opera House in Cairo and in Alexandria. He has also toured in Syria, performing at the City Theatre, Mar Elyan Church, and the International Festival. In Jordan, he has visited the Royal Theater and the Jeresh Festival. He has also toured in the Gulf region, performing tours in the United Arab Emirates emirates Dubai, at the Islamic Music Festival, and Abu Dhabi, at the WOMED Festival. He has sung in Bahrain at its fifth annual Spring Cultural Festival.
In the city of Tunis in Tunisia, he has performed at the Al Mashtal Theater and at the Ken Festival. Bashir has performed in five Moroccan cities: Fes, Rabat, Casablanca, Marakesh, Tatwan, and Aghadir. In Morocco, he has performed oud duo concerts with his father as well as solo performances at the Mawazin Festival and the Oud International Festival.
Omar Bashir has traveled through various states, including New York, Washington, Arkansas, Colorado, and others, performing at venues including the Cambridge Academy, Lincoln Jazz Theater, Symphony Space, Duke University, the World Culture Museum, and the Kennedy Center.
Omar Bashir has traveled to many locations throughout Europe. In Paris, France, he has performed at the Cite de la Musique, Maison Des Cultures Du Monde, Institute de Monde Arab, and the Le Rond Point Theatre. His tours have also brought him to Hungary, the country of his birth, where he participated in the World Music Festival, and performed at the National Museum as well as a concert dedicated to the memory of Munir Bashir in Budapest. In Hungary, he has also performed at the Art Festival in Zemplen, the Palace of Arts, Kongress Hall, and the Vigadó Theatre.
Other destinations in Europe include Germany and Switzerland, where he performed a duet with his father. He also participated in the Oud International Festival in Thessaloniki, Greece, as well as various other venues in the country. He has also performed at the Music Academy in The Hague in the Netherlands.
Awards and honours
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (March 2012)|
Omar Bashir has received various awards for his contributions to music. He received a medal from the Arab Music Group,[when?] which is affiliated to the Arab League. He also received a Peace Prize from Belgium Media for his collaboration with the Catalan Viol player and composer Jordi Savall i Bernadet. In addition, he has received a medal from the Southern Culture Center in Lebanon, and a medal from the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Georgio Abu Zakham, during the fourth anniversary of the Mar Elyan festival.
Bashir also holds various certificates of appreciation from several organizations due to his singing at various places or events. These include a Certificate of Appreciation from the United Nations for his contribution to one of its celebrations, five certificates from The Opera House in Egypt for his contributions to the Arab Music Festival, and a certificate of appreciation for his contribution to the International Festival Exhibition in Syria.
- "Biography". omarbashir.hu. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
- "Omar Bashir to take part in Quincy Jones’ GLOBAL GUMBO ALL STARS musical". Middle East Online. 10 July 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
- "Omar Bashir". John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- "Omar Bashir". Washintunes. 22 November 2003. Retrieved 10 August 2014.