The Chicago World Music Festival 2010 is just concluding their annual city wide venue regularly hosted by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and since the inception in 1999, has entertained over a half million visitors by traditional and contemporary music concerts performed live by music professionals spanning the globe.
Riad Abdel-Gawad is a violinist just concluding his performances with his ensemble at the Clarke House Museum & South Shore Cultural Center during this international multi cultural event which over the years has had representation of seventy five countries.
His concert appearances during the Chicago World Music Festival were held just recently in September 2010 and in addition, Riad Abdel-Gawad has extensively toured the U.S. this year with his ensemble from Cairo Egypt. The newly released Egypt: Mother of the World was designed to coincide with his U.S. ensemble tour and the numerous venues where people have had a chance to hear his multi cultural music during live performances.
Riad Abdel-Gawad is a Southern California resident and Harvard graduate with a PH.D in Musical Composition, also a University of Southern California and University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music graduate. When his educational and Western classical influences are joined with his Middle Eastern ensemble the equation becomes a wonderful cross section of music that blends into a much broader World music influence. Also having toured many countries as a violinist, in addition to a large presence in online radio programming, his recognition has nicely reached an international audience.
Egypt: Mother of the World is his 2010 Middle Eastern, World, New Age, Contemporary release featuring four additional musical talents comprising his ensemble. Egyptian born Riad Abdel-Gawad had wrote the original compositions and all musicians are highly recognized artists in Middle Eastern music and perform on traditional ethnic instruments so the listener is greatly rewarded with colorful and authentic works of beauty.
The professional musicians playing on this album include Yousri Abdel-Maqsoud on percussion, drums, bongos, duff, riqq ( tambourine ) Saber Abdel-Sattar qanun ( plucked dulcimer ) Hesham Makarem oudist oud ( lute ) and Mohamed Foda ( Fouda ) nayist ( bamboo flute ) The physical CD includes a large colorful 16 page foldout booklet describing the meaning and inspiration for each piece and makes a nice bonus.
Egypt: Mother of the World is an excellent introduction for those less familiar with Middle Eastern music and for those coinsurers, the album is an unrivaled work of art given by some great talents. Riad performs on a violin tuned several tones lower keeping with traditional Middle Eastern standards and this tuning in tonal pitch does make the recognizable variations from Western music clear.
The quality of this professional ensemble and their authentic style of music can be felt from the first of fifteen songs that truly does deliver a wonderful atmosphere while becoming a global festival and lively cultural event in World music.