Artist Profiles: Wajde Ayub

Wajde Ayub

Wajde Ayub started to sing and play the oud at an early age. He worked for more than 25 years with many of the finest musicians of Aleppo.

A classically trained Syrian mutrib (main vocalist), Wajde Ayub is much-admired for his delightful and impressive renderings of the repertory of Aleppo, one of the eminent cultural centers of the Middle East. This includes wasla, a musical suite that integrates composed and improvised parts; and muwashahat, sung poetry.

Since migrating to the United States in 2017, he has been a leading advocate of Syrian vocal music in his new home. He is enthusiastic about maintaining the ancient musical traditions of Syria – traditions that have been put in danger by the civil war that has ravaged the country.

His performances include layali (melismatic vocalizations) and mawwal (unmetered song). They are suggestive of those of his mentor, the great Sabah Fakhri, and resonate with the musical elation known as tarab, a heightened state of emotion similar to duende in flamenco. His ensemble is composed of a chorus and instrumentalists on ud (lute), violins, cello, nay (flute), qanun (zither), bass, and percussion who are highly respected in the field of Middle Eastern music in the United States.

In addition to performing in the Middle East, he has toured Europe, Latin America and the United States. Ayub was tutored to memorize dozens of classic Arabic compositions, which he performs and improvises during a concert.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. 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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