Musical Performance: Najib Bahri & Friends: Classical & Folkloric Music of Tunisia

Sat, November 15, 2008 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Najib Bahri & Friends - Classical & Folkloric Music of Tunisia

with guest artists:

Rachid Halihal, Amir ElSaffar and Andrew Shantz


Master percussionist Najib Bahri returns to Alwan to share some classic Tunisian songs of Saliha, Ali Riyahi, & Hedi Jouini, including some complex malouf/mwashahat rhythms, as well as the vibrant folkloric music of his country.

$20/$15 with valid student I.D.

Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

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Watch Najib demonstrate Tunisian folkloric rhythms on the Darbouka: Najib Bahri


Born in Tunis, Najib Bahri is an inheritor of the Andalucian music tradition that traveled from southern Spain to Tunisia and other countries at the end of the Middle Ages. He is a master percussionist on Darbouka (goblet drum), Bendir (frame drum), and Riq (Arabic tambourine) in the Maghrebi, Mashriqi and Khaligi classical and folk styles. He began playing darbouka at age eight with his father and uncles in theatres and for the Tunisian national television. At age sixteen, he attended the Tunisian National Conservatory of Music. While finishing his education in France, Najib performed in Parisian nightclubs and other venues. Over the years, he has researched different world rhythms and accompanied some of the most prestigious musicians of the Arab world including Egyptian violinist Aboud Abdel Al, Lebanese singer and composer Wadi'h Essafi, Lebanese composer George Yazbek, Egyptian cellist Mahmoud Ramzi, Tunisian conductor of Al-Rashidiya Ben Heljia, former music director of Tunisian television ensemble, composer and master oud player Ali Sriti, and Egyptian violinist Ahmed Hafnawi. He has a holistic teaching style that incorporates breathing, singing, and moving while playing percussion. Percussionists George Lawler (US; Squishy/Frequency Lab/Sound Continuum Studios), Neill Porteous (US; Family of Souls), Susu Pampnin (US; Susu & the Cairo Cats), and Bassem Yazbek (Lebanon) are among those that have studied Najib's unique percussion style.

Inventor of the electric darbouka, Najib builds specialized Arabic percussion instruments. He prefers playing the clay darbouka with the stingray drumheads over the metal darbouka with the synthetic drumhead. Its natural and fine acoustic qualities are governed by the atmosphere, humidity, and temperature of the environment. Any percussionist, professional or amateur, should at least have some exposure to playing the clay darbouka. Najib also leads the musical group El Amal (Arabic for "Hope"). The group plays a wide range of classical and contemporary North African and Middle Eastern music styles. Due to the multi-talented musicians from different walks of life and their world music inspiration, they also offer a unique sound which is coined "North African Dance Grooves".

Last updated: 2008-11-12 01:18:45

Najib Bahri
Najib Bahri

Alwan for the Arts

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
(between Broad St. and Broadway)
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261

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