Artist Profiles: Omar Bashir

Omar Bashir

Omar Bashir carries on the tradition of his famed father, Munir Bashir, the preeminent ‘ud (lute) player and one of the world’s most esteemed cultural ambassadors for Arab music in the second half of the 20th century.

Omar Bashir was born in 1970 in Budapest, Hungary. He started playing the ‘ud at 5, next to his father, Munir Bashir, the Iraqi virtuoso who first made the oud a solo recital instrument and popularized it in the West. At 7, Omar Bashir joined the Baghdad Music and Ballet School. He would eventually become a teacher there and set up his own band of 24 musicians specializing in traditional Iraqi music. They performed regularly across Egypt, Russia, Turkey and many Arabic countries.

Bashir returned to Budapest in 1991 where he joined the Franz Liszt Academy. Bashir has performed as a solo artist and in duets with his father until Munir Bashir died in 1997 on the eve of a tour of North America. His music mixes traditional Arabic music, flamenco, blues and other forms with a jazz-like improvisation.

Bashir currently resides in Budapest.

Discography:

Music from Iraq (1992)
Duet of the Two Bashirs: Munir and Omar (1994)
From the Euphrates to the Danube (1997)
Ashwaq (1998)
My Memories (1998)
Flamenco Night (1998)
Al Andalus (1999)
Zikrayati (1999)
Live Solo Oud Performance (2000)
Sound of Civilizations (EMI, 2001)
To My Father (2002)
Bghdadiyat, with Shara Taha (2002)
Gypsy Oud ((2003)
Latin Oud (2004)
Oud Hawl al Alam – Oud Around the World (2004)
Crazy Oud (EMI, 2010)
The Platinum Collection (EMI, 2011)
Masters of Oud (EMI, 2010)
Takasim (Inedit Records, 2012)
The Legend Live Concert (Universal, 2015)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

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