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Joseph Tawadros Trio

Joseph Tawadros is a leading oud virtuoso, composer and three-time Aria Award winner.  

He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2016  for services to music and composition, and brings his trio to Darwin for the first time this November in what is sure to be an unforgettable night of incredible music. 

Please tell us about this beautiful instrument that you have become so  well known for, and that you hold so dear. 

The oud is a Middle Eastern fretless lute with Ancient Egyptian origins. It’s the most popular instrument in the Middle East and is considered the king of all instruments. It is believed to have been brought to Europe by a player named Zeryab, and then spread around Europe becoming the lute which then became the guitar, so it’s a very historically significant instrument.  

Why was this the instrument for you? 

I fell in love with the instrument after watching an Egyptian movie about the famous Egyptian composer Sayed Darwich. I was also drawn to the instrument by my Grandfather who also played it. Being in Australia, I felt the oud was a link to my Egyptian heritage and culture and I learnt a lot about that from learning the instrument. I’m very passionate about this instrument and love the journey it has taken me on thus far.  

Do you have a favourite oud – and what makes it so special? 

The oud I currently play was built by Veysel and Cengiz Sarikus in 2011. I have a sponsorship with these great makers and worked with them on a special seven-course instrument, which is a part of their JT Signature Series. They build me a new instrument every two years or so, but I still continue with the first one they built for me. It’s been everywhere with me, in all sorts of environments, including the Egyptian revolution of 2011.  

You’re bringing your trio to Darwin, including your brother James, who plays the riq. How would you describe the music that’s created when the oud, the riq and the piano combine? 

The music that will be performed are original compositions spanning a few albums. Although I create the framework, each musician in the ensemble plays a vital role and brings their own spirit to it. It’s very interactive and there is a lot of room for improvisation and spontaneity. Each piece has a lot of influences and is ambiguous in style. The music is emotional and I hope the audience experience that journey with us.  

Fri 10 Nov | 7pm | Darwin Entertainment Centre

See the event listing. 

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