Category Archives: Middle East

Yemen Blues (Yemen/Israel) – Moments of Deep Desert Soul!

Text by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi

Photo by Laurent Burst

YEMEN BLUES was founded by Ravid Kahalani, a rising star in Israel who grew up to a traditional Yemenite family, learned the language and the traditional chants of his origin. Ravid joined forces with Omer Avital, a well known bass player and composer, and together they gathered YEMEN BLUES, a group of musicians from New York, Israel and Uruguay which fuses traditional Yemenite music with blues, jazz, funk and West African rhythms and melodies. 

About Ravid Kahalani

Continue reading

Jeff Greene captures the essence of the Azerbaijan psyche: the Azeri Mugham!

Text and photos by Jeff Greene 

Baku, modern and ancient

The city of Baku, the capitol of Azerbaijan, located below the Caucasus Mountains on the edge of the Caspian Sea, is a fascinating blend of east and west, old and new. In the late 1800s, numerous “oil barons’ mansions” were built alongside the existing ancient Islamic walled city in a strange mixture of architectural styles that mixed European classical, Art Nouveau with Persian eclecticism. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union 20 years ago, Baku has experienced another oil-fueled building boom of modern skyscrapers. But nothing seems to capture the essence of the Azerbaijan psyche the way that traditional Mugham music does. 

The two Jeff's with the staff of the conservatory

The two Jeff's with the staff of the conservatory

Continue reading

Rock music is alive in the Middle East!!!

Text by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi

Tonight after midnight while practising on my sax, I listened to the radio station BBC World SERVICE which featured the Afghani rock band KABUL DREAMS. They were interviewed and did a short acapella.

So I got the idea to look for them in YouTube and check out how they sound as a band. I found one. After watching it I wondered how Rock bands in Iran, Pakistan and India would sound. You know,  Afghanistan’s neighbors. Again YouTube helped me out. I found some interesting videos which I really enjoyed. Each video has a personal touch and tells a specific story. Please enjoy and listen to their stories and messages.

Abjeez from Iran

Continue reading

The Mystery of Life, My Cat and Omar Faruk Tekbilek

Painting by Marilyn Cvitanic

Painting by Marilyn Cvitanic

By John Kruth

I’ve got this crazy cat that likes to sleep in the bathroom sink. She lies there for hours on end during warm summer afternoons with her head gently resting on the edge while her tail dangles over the other side, twitching randomly. Most of the time she appears quite relaxed, the cool marble contour of the bowl perfectly cradles her long black and white spotted body as she drifts off into what seems like a deep meditative state.

Continue reading