Naji Youssef: Melkite and Maronite Hymns and Chants at Alwan Festival of Sacred Music

Naji Youssef
Naji Youssef wil be performing music from the traditional Byzantine Catholic Melkite and Maronite liturgy on Saturday, February 26th, 9pm.

A master of expressive vocal ornamentation, Naji Youssef’s voice is reminiscent of the Lebanese jabali (mountain) style exemplified by such masters as Wadi’ Assafi. In tonight’s performance, the Lebanese-born tenor and cantor performs the traditional chants and hymns of the Byzantine Catholic Melkite and Maronite liturgy.

About the Artist

Born in northern Shouf mountains of Lebanon, Naji Youssef started singing in his church choir at a tender age. He emigrated to the United States in 1988 and has been a leading figure in the Arab-American music scene, performing in many venues and festivals and in many projects with such artists as Simon Shaheen, Philip Glass, and Bassam Saba, including performances with the New York Arabic Orchestra at Symphony Space and at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre.

Naji’s clear and strong voice is reminiscent of the Lebanese jabali (mountain) style exemplified by great masters such as Wadi’ Assafi, yet the cantorial tradition adds nuance and subtle phrasing to his singing. Naji has mastered many repertoires besides the Melchite hymns, including old poetic singing styles such as mijana, ‘ataba, shruqi and zajal. For many years, Naji has been cantor and deacon in the Catholic Melchite Church of the Virgin Mary in Brooklyn, New York.

Alwan for the Arts
16 Beaver Street (between Broad and Broadway), 4th floor,
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261
Naji Youssef
Saturday, February 26th, 9pm
Doors open at 8:30pm
Tickets:
$20 available at the door or online here
$15 students/members/seniors available at the door or online here
(Please bring printout as ticket. IDs will be checked at the door)

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