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Omar Souleyman - makeover of mid east dance Dabke
Omar Souleyman’s story is incredible – from weddings in Syria, he made it to stages at festivals such as Glastonbury and Roskilde or to Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

04. February 2015 Omar Souleyman - makeover of mid east dance Dabke

One could be tempted to say that he still represents a kind of Syrian wedding show but that wouldn’t have earned him rave reviews from Pitchfork; Björk wouldn’t have invited him to record three remixes for the second disc of her Crystalline Series and Caribou wouldn’t have picked him when curating the prestigious All Tomorrow’s Parties. First, his records had a form of illegal copies made at parties and weddings. Hundreds of these are still around, but, recently, his first official album Wenu Wenu produced by Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) has seen the light of day as well. Omar Souleyman plays live in an absolutely minimalistic way – with Rizan Sa'id on keys. Many compare their take on traditional dabke-dance music-making to punk or DIY approach. With traditional clothes, poker face and modern thick moustache, Omar Souleyman is an artist you can’t miss out on.


(Photo: Rasmus Nautrup Jensen)