World Music from Lebanon. Three New Arabic/Brazilian Fusion CDs

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As part of its World Music From Lebanon series, Forward music just released three new albums by Ghazi Abdel Baki "Communique #1", Paul Salem "Madinatuna" and Ziyad Sahhab "Ouyoun El Bakar". A new direction in Arabic / Brazilian music Fusion.

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Forward Music is an offshoot of Forward Productions s.a.r.l. It was established in 2004 by Carol Mansour and Ghazi Abdel Baki as a music label that pools together the cooperative efforts of young Lebanese artists. It aims to encourage new and creative trends in the musical arts, blending the various cultural currents that meet and interact in the country in new fusions and fresh perspectives. It hopes to draw on the rich musical past of the Arab world and the array of contemporary influences to find new musical dialects. Forward Music is committed to making an authentic contribution to our ever-changing culture and to the growing global dialogue of World Music

The label’s first three projects are:

Ghazi Abdel Baki ”Communiqué #1”, Paul Salem “Madinatuna”, and Ziyad Sahhab “Ouyoun El Bakar”.

Those three albums were released with the launching of the Label at Virgin Mega Store on the 17th of August 2004. The artists were present for the signing of their albums amidst a crowd of about 800 people. The sales of the albums during that night were among the highest sales produced in a signing, according to Virgin Megastore officials.    

A video clip was produced for each artist and is in the process of being delivered to major satellite TVs in Lebanon and in the Arab World.

Ghazi Abdel Baki “Communiqué #1”:                     

Ghazi Abdel Baki: Is a musician/composer/producer.

He's been playing Live since 1986 (drums, percussions and guitars.). He was part of many bands in Lebanon and in the USA. Ghazi composes music for films and documentaries

He co-recorded and co-released his first album with fellow musician Ramzi Moufarrej (Bare Necessity Crucial, 1994 in New York City) and with the band members of Virus he released his second album (Beirut Salsa, 1999 in Beirut). His third and latest CD is Communiqué#1.

Communiqué # 1: (Arabic/Brazilian Fusion)

During the late sixties a new musical style emerged in Lebanon and a departure from traditional Arabic Music gained in momentum. Beirut was transformed in the early seventies into a cradle for interacting cultures and a fertile breeding ground for mixing musical influences and experimentation. With a soundscape that varied from traditional Arabic Music to Psychedelic Rock, a synthesis was born. A musical form that has its roots in traditional Middle Eastern Music but that is strongly influenced by Blues, Jazz, Rock and Bossa Nova. The allegresse that characterizes the Arabic Maqams (modes) found a new home in the melodic minors in which the western form was adopted.

Today forty years later, musicians in this region are still pushing the envelope to create more variations and new contemporary colors. Communiqué #1 stands out as a lively example of this musical fusion. It is also a tribute to the musicians of Ras Beirut from which Ghazi Baki learned and with whom he plays today.

In Communiqué # 1 Ghazi Abdel Baki sings the poems of classical Arab poets such as Eliya Abu Madi and modern poets such as Nizar Kabbani in a form that ranges from Bossa Nova, Samba and Reggae to Gypsy folk, Acid Jazz and Rap.

Communiqué # 1 features:

Ghazi Abdel Baki: Guitars, Drums, Percussions, Voice

Abboud Saadi: Electric Bass

Jack Gregg: Double Bass

Tom Hornig: Alto, Tenor Sax and Flute

Claude Shalhoub: Violins

Samir Siblini: Nay (Middle Eastern Pan Flute)

Ghada Shbeir: Mawal (Voice partition)

Munir Khawli: Hammond Organ (on What for)

Rayess_bek: Rap (on What for)

Loulwa Abdel Baki: Backing Vocals

Paul Salem “Madinatuna”

Paul Salem: is a musician/composer

Paul has been playing and composing music since the late 1970s. He is a pianist and guitarist and composes music that fuses various elements of Arabic music, jazz, classical, and Brazilian bossa nova. He released his first CD “Samaa” in 1998.

Madinatuna: (Arabic/Brazilian Fusion)

Madinatuna is a CD about the city. Our city. Beirut. It encapsulates the richness and variety of the voices that interact within it. It is an expression of the energy and dynamism that characterize the city; the congruencies and contradictions; the harmonies and dissonances. The compositions in Madinatuna are as varied as the city from which it sprung, with influences as diverse as bossa nova, jazz, lounge, and Arabic music, expressing an equally wide array of emotions.

Madinatuna features:

Paul Salem: Piano, Guitars and Vocals

Abboud Saadi: Bass

Fouad Afra: Drums and percussions

Ali Khatib: Arabic Percussions and Bouzok

Samir Siblini: Nay

Charbel Rouhana: Oud

Sherman Irby: Alto Sax

Tom Hornig: Alto Sax

Zilke Pfeifer: Vocals

Jack Gregg: Double Bass

Walid Tawil: Drums (on Bazarkan)

Claude Shalhoub: Violin

Ziyad Sahhab “ ’Ouyoun El Bakar”

Ziyad Sahhab: Is a Musician/Composer.

He started playing the Oud when he was seven years old in 1989. He became a fellow and band member in the “Beirut Ensemble for Arabic Music” in 1993. At the age of fifteen he played solo at the memorial of Abdel Halim Hafiz at the Opera House in Egypt. He founded in 2002 the band: Shahhadeen Ya Baladna”.

Ziyad composed music for plays such as “Marche”, by Issam Bou Khaled “waiting for Godo” by Roger Assaf and films such as “Alive in Limbo”

‘Ouyoun El Bakar: (Arabic Music/Tarab/Oud)

For his first release Ziyad chose not to be accompanied by his band as a “contre-point” in this era where arrangements and decorations precede and take over the actual compositions - hence eclipsing the real substance of musical works. In ‘Ouyoun El Bakar, Ziyad strips down his compositions to the bare minimum and focuses on the authentic natural mood: He plays the Oud, sings and is accompanied by light Arabic percussions.

In ‘Ouyoun El Bakar, Ziyad sings the lyrics of Egyptian Poet Salah Jaheen and some of his own poetry.

Ouyoun El Bakar features:

Ziyad Sahhab: Oud, Vocals

Ahmad Khatib: Rik, Katem        


(email: Tel:+961.3.420432)

GHAZI ABDEL BAKI (email: Tel:+961.3.707222)

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