Iraq Now! Naseer Shamma and Al-Oyoun Ensemble

Naseer Shamma is one of Iraq's leading cultural icons. He is a leader of the famed Iraqi Oud school, a virtuosic approach to the oud (Arab lute) that began in Iraq in the early twentieth century, combining techniques and aesthetics from Turkish oud playing with the melodies and spirit of traditional Iraqi maqam music. A composer as well as a performer, Shamma has created an innovative approach to the oud, expanding on its technical capabilities and influencing oud players across the Arab region. In his first performance in the United States in more than a decade, Shamma will appear in New York with his Al-Oyoun Ensemble, consisting of seven virtuoso musicians from Cairo performing in a contemporary style of Shamma's own creation, which he calls Arab Chamber Music.

This concert is presented as part of Iraq Now!, a festival of contemporary Iraqi culture presented in collaboration with Alwan for the Arts.

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