Artist Profiles: Zohar Fresco

Zohar Fresco

Born in Israel to a family of Turkish descent, Zohar Fresco began playing percussion instruments at a very young age. He swiftly became enamored with Oriental music and began to play with older musicians who had immigrated to Israel from Arab countries.

His exceptional musical curiosity and his interest in a wide range of styles have led him to perform with many artists in Israel and abroad. At the age of twenty-one he joined Bustam Abraham. He is also a member of Ziryab Trio and of Arabandi.

A small sample of his international credits, apart from the above mentioned groups, include both recordings and performances with renowned composers Phillip Glass, Glen Velez, and Zakir Hussain. Zohar is an integral part of the recordings and worldwide performances of the internationally acclaimed singer Noa. In addition to this, he is a teacher and head of the Oriental percussion department at the Jerusalem Music Academy.

Zohar Fresco is a virtuoso of many percussion instruments, and his performances with the darbuka and the frame drums (such as Bendir, Riqq, and Tar) have left audiences all over the world awestruck. After years of playing these instruments, he has developed original techniques that include influences of Arabic, Indian, Persian, and Turkish music, as well as Jazz. Zohar Fresco is undoubtedly one of the best and most sought after percussionists in the world, and a rising star on the international scene.

Selected discography:

Bustan Abraham (Nada Productions, 1992)
Pictures through the painted window (Nada Productions, 1994)
Abadai (Nada Productions, 1996)
Fanar (Nada Productions, 1997)
Mashreq Classics with Ziryab Trio (1997)
Hamsa (Nada Productions, 2000)
Ashra, compilation (Nada Productions, 2001)
Live concerts (2003)
The Time, with Leszek Mozdzer and Lars Danielsson (2005)
Between Us and the Light, with Leszek Mozdzer and Lars Danielsson (2006)
An Armenian in America, with Ara Dinkjian (2006)
Napoli-Tel Aviv, with Achinoam Nini and Gil Dor (2007)
Live, with Leszek Mozdzer and Lars Danielsson (2007)
Polska, with Leszek Mozdzer and Lars Danielsson (2013)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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