Omar Bashir (musician)

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This article is about the Iraqi musician. For the President of Sudan, see Omar al-Bashir.
Omar Bashir
Omar bashir.jpeg
The Crazy Oud 2010
Background information
Native name عمر بشير
Born (1970-05-01) May 1, 1970 (age 46)
Budapest, Hungary
Origin Mosul, Iraq
Genres World music
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Oud, guitar, piano
Years active 1990s – present

Omar Bashir (Arabic: عمر بشير‎‎) is an IraqiHungarian musician. His father, Munir Bashir, was considered to be the supreme master of the Arab maqamat scale system.

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.[1] In 1991, he left for Budapest and joined the Franz Liszt Academy.[1]

Omar performed as a soloist and with his father Munir until his death in 1997.[1] 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.[2]


Omar Bashir          The Unique Art of Oud virtuoso


Omar Bashir Born in 1970 in Hungary to a  Hungarian mother and an Iraqi father. Omar comes from a music dynasty of Oud musicians. His father was the late Ud Maestro Munir Bashir, his uncle was the renowned late Oud Master Jamil Bashir. His late grandfather and several members of ‘Bashir’ dynasty are musicians.  At the age of five, Omar left Hungary with his parents to live in Iraq,  where he  grew up and began his Oud training.  The Oud which accompanies him everywhere in his performances, is the very one that was given to him by his father at the age of  five to begin his classical Oud training by his father. This involved often practising for up to 5–6 hours daily. At the age of seven Omar joined the Baghdad Music and Ballet School where he made his Oud solo debut at the age of nine, performing solo at the Baghdad Conservatory.  In his late teens he became teacher at the Baghdad Music and Ballet school, setting up his own band of 24 musicians specialising in classical Iraqi music.   In 1991 Omar’s parents moved back to Hungary, where Omar  studied piano,  singing and direction of choir at the Liszt Ferenc University, continuing to work and perform alongside his father.   Omar’s debut performing with his father was in 1983 when Omar was thirteen. Seven years on,  Omar was now performing internationally alongside his father until Munir Bashir’s death in 1997.  The death of his father marked a turning point in Omar Bashir’s musical career. His  creative search experimenting and exploring various instruments alongside Oud led to collaborations with many international artists, He was granted the copyright by Gypsy King to perform one of their melodies.  Omar won many recognitions and international awards for his works and musical achievements. He has performed internationally in most prestigious musical halls and together with major international musicians like the Spanish Catalan Viol player and composer Jordi Savall. He was pointed by Quincy Jones to perform in Global Gumbo All Stars project supporting poor children, explaining his choice by saying " Omar Bashir is one of the most important artist and has his very own musical style"  Omar Bashir made various performances for charity. On  the first Anniversary  of the World Trade Centre he was invited by  the US government and The Institute of Arab Music as fundraising performance for the  Iraqi Symphony Orchestra and Iraqi children.   His single hit  “To my mother“ was selected by world famous DJs Claude Challe and Jean Marc Challe in their album “ Select 2010“ and entered top ten chart in various countries.   The album “Arabic Oud“ was nominated as the best musical work in West Asia by the UNESCO and entered Book of the Year of 2013 for preserving heritage.   In 2015 he started experimenting with Dancing Oud where dancers accompanied his musical performance on stage. A gesture that has witnessed before in his field.   Lately Omar Bashir has been chosen by Musical Instrument Museum in Arizona  MIM to have his name and instrumentt displayed beside Elvis Presly and John Lenon as an appreciation for all his musical contribution in the world and Europe in specific.                     

Musical works and performances[edit]


Crazy oud2.jpg

Omar Bashir released a total of 23 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.[citation needed] Below is a listing of all of the albums he has released, in chronological order:

  • Music from Iraq - 1992
  • Duet of the Two Bashirs: Munir and Omar - 1994, dubbed by French papers at the time to be the "best musical performance."[citation needed]
  • 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
  • ..Bghdadiyat with Shara Taha 2002
  • 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
  • The Platinum Collection . EMI 2011
  • 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 Legend Live Concert - 2015 Universal Company


Concerts and tours[edit]

Arab countries and America[edit]

Lebanon: Almadina Theatre- Beirut, Alhariri Theatre- Sajda – Lebanon Egypt: The Opera House in Cairo and Alexanderia Syria: City Theatre, Mar ElyanChurch& The International Festival. Jordan: The Royal Theatre &Jeresh Festival Tunis: Al Mashtal Theatre, Ken Festival Morocco: Fes, Rabat, Casablanca, Marakesh, Tatwan and Aghadir. Oud Duo tour concert: Munir Bashir & Omar as well as solo Oud performances in Mawazin Festival and Oud International Festival. Algeria: National Theatre Palestine: Ramallah Popular art centre UAE: Dubai and Abu Dhabi: Islamic Music Festival and WOMED Festival. Bahrain: 5th Spring Cultural Festival. USA: touredextensivelythroughvarious US states: New York, Washington- Durham, Arcansas, Denver and variousothersatesperforming at variousprestigiousvenueswhich included Cambridge Academy, Lincoln Jazz Theatre, Symphony Space, The Duke University, World Culture Museum, Kennedy Centre. Canada-Montreal: Arab Music Festival ..2008..2015

United States[edit]

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.[4][5]


France- Paris :Cite de la Musique- France, Maison Des Cultures Du Monde, Institute de Monde Arab, Le Rond Point Theatre. Montpellier Festival Arabesques. Lyon: Opera House Hungary: World Music Festival, National Museum,Concert in Memoray of Munir Bashir Budapest. Art Festival-Zemplen,Palace of Arts,KongressHall,Vigadó Theatre. MOM Theatre Germany:Berlin,Concet Hall. Switzerland: Besel ,Oud Duet concert. Greece: The Saloniki Oud International Festival and variousothervenues.Athena Iraqi Embassy Cultural Week The Netherlands - Den Haag- Music Academy,Amsterdam Liteside Festival. Spain :Quincy Jones Global Gumbo/Peralada International Festival. England : Radio 3 Special- The Proms –London Royal Albert Hall . Belgium-Brussels: World Music Festival . Gent Music Festival. Antwerp-AmuzChurch and Bozar Turkey: Istanbul:Culture Theatre and Yorgo 1st Oud Festival. Serbia : IraqiCulturalweek in Belgrad, 2011, 2013, 2014 Georgia : Rose Pease Festival Sweden: Stockholm, Goteborg, Malmo

Tour with JordiSavall Jerusalem, Pease in heaven and on Earth : 
Canada, Germany, USA, Finland, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland, Spain,Sweden, Norway, Italy, UK, Austria.

Awards and honours[edit]

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.[citation needed] He also received a Peace Prize from Belgium Media for his collaboration with the Catalan Viol player and composer Jordi Savall. In addition, he has received a medal from the Southern Culture Center in Lebanon,[citation needed] and a medal from the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Georgio Abu Zakham, during the fourth anniversary of the Mar Elyan festival.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c "Biography". Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "Omar Bashir to take part in Quincy Jones' GLOBAL GUMBO ALL STARS musical". Middle East Online. 10 July 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Vienna
  4. ^ "Omar Bashir". John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Omar Bashir". Washintunes. 22 November 2003. Retrieved 10 August 2014.