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Simon Shaheen brings Arab-Western fusion on oud and violin to Tacoma’s Theatre on the Square

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on April 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
April 22, 2013 2:30 pm
Simon Shaheen. Photo: Joslyn Duncan.
Simon Shaheen. Photo: Joslyn Duncan.

Tacoma’s being treated to a wealth of Arabic music lately, as international oud and violin player Simon Shaheen – who recently played an Old Town Tuesday concert as well as school visits – returns for a concert Friday at Theatre on the Square.

Shaheen, called one of the most significant Arab musicians of his generation, is a virtuoso on both the lute-like oud and the violin, bridging Western classical, jazz and traditional Arabic music with both “mesmerizing frenzy” and “quiet tenderness,” according to ARAMCO World Magazine.

A Palestinian born in the Galilee area, Shaheen grew up playing both instruments, and studied at the Conservatory for Western Classical Music in Jerusalem, later teaching there before completing graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music and Columbia University. He now divides his time between performing and teaching at institutions like the Juilliard School of Music, Brown, Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities. His Arab-jazz-classical-Latin fusion band Qantara tours international festivals, but here in Tacoma he’ll be playing solo.

Pre-show lecture 6:30 p.m., concert 7:30 p.m. April 26. $19-$49. Theatre on the Square, 915 Broadway, Tacoma. 253-591-5894, broadwaycenter.org

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