Reviewed by Georgia Cassimatis
One of the world’s leading Oud performers and composers, Egyptian born Australian Joseph Tawadros is in short, a musical genius. His command of the oldest musical lute, mandolin style instrument from the Middle East is so powerful and profound one leaves as though they have been graced with musical nectar from the Gods.
Joined with his brother James who plays the req and bendir (Middle Eastern hand percussion) thousands of years of culture and the human condition and sentiment are celebrated with their stunning collaborations and improvisations, while also fusing bluegrass and jazz with the traditional music of the Middle East.
The Oud has a long tradition where the saying goes that its music lies in the country’s soul, and is praised for its healing powers, and ability to revive hearts. While deeply personal and passionate Joseph’s music is about loss, grief, healing, and the inevitability of human suffering, yet equally celebrated is the high energy and excitement for life, not to mention Joseph’s signature style outfit: a bright sunflower on his paisley shirt, silver shoes and hat as though he is dressed to star in the movie Aladdin. He has a wicked sense of humour and loves to play on his Arabic-Aussiness.
With 14 albums, 12 nominations and three ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Awards for Best World Music Album under his belt and being awarded an Order of Australia Medal (AM) for his services to music and composition in 2016, if you don’t see Joseph and his brother James perform you have truly missed out.
For more information for events at the Casula Powerhouse go to: www.casulapowerhouse.com