Join composer and vocalist Faraj Abyad, along with award-winning violinist and composer Layth Sidiq, in this interactive workshop. Participants will learn how to set Arabic poetry to music using the Arabic Maqam and rhythm.

Biographies

Faraj Abyad

Faraj Abyad is a composer and a multi-instrumentalist of Syrian/Aleppian descent based in New York City, who specializes in performing traditional Arabic music. He often performs concerts, in which he gathers distinguished musicians and singers from around the Middle East, to advocate classical Arabic music in a contemporary world.

His goal as a musician and singer is to preserve and uphold the timeless beauty of ancestral Arabic music, while advancing and progressing their historic melodies to appeal to the modern era. Although his primary role in his orchestra is singing, he also is particularly skilled on oud, violin and percussion.
Faraj was the first Arabic singer/composer to have an exclusive video filmed in the Islamic wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Additionally, Faraj was recently featured at Carnegie Hall on Arabic Language Day in 2021. In 2022, he was commissioned by Abu Dhabi Music Festival to produce an album of modern Tarab to the greats of classical Arabic poetry. This album was recorded in the legendary Power Station studios in New York City where some of the greatest American musical icons have recorded their albums.

Layth Sidiq

Layth Sidiq is an award-winning violinist, composer and educator who has toured the world and performed with major artists such as Simon Shaheen, Danilo Perez, Javier Limon, Jack Dejohnette, Tigran Hamasyan and others and performed in venues like the London Jazz Festival, Boston Symphony Hall, WOMEX Expo, Montreal Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall and more. In 2018, Layth was one of the prize winners at the Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition as the first and only Arab to ever participate. He presented his compositions which are an amalgam of Eastern and Western styles done in a way which perfectly describe his diverse upbringing and musical taste. Layth is currently the director of both the Arab Music Ensemble at Tufts University and the Center for Arabic Culture’s Youth Orchestra Program in Boston and is an in-demand touring artist and educator around the world.