Qawsaan (two bows) is a contemporary string duo hailing from the Middle East featuring the violin and the cello in an approach that has never been heard before.
Palestinian cellist Naseem Alatrash and Iraqi/Jordanian violinist Layth Sidiq are graduates of Berklee College of Music and have been playing together for more than 10 years! They have toured the world together, playing in orchestras and chamber ensembles and right now, as a duo.
Their aim is to use the exciting combination of violin/cello and combine different styles of music, shattering stylistic stereotypes through improvisation, original compositions and arrangements.
''Bringing Layth and Naseem together on stage results in a passionate performance that combines deep musical traditional influenced by Arabic and Western classical music and contemporary jazz, in an association which highlights their unique instrumental skills. Their music is an exceptional experience for any listener.''
(Berklee Mediterranean Institute)
Born in Iraq and raised in Jordan, Layth picked up the violin at the age of four and started his musical training at the National Music Conservatory with Timur Ibrahmiov, and later at the Chethams School of Music in Manchester/UK.
Upon graduation, Layth moved to Boston to pursue his college education at the Berklee College of Music where he received a full-tuition scholarship and graduated with a bachelor degree and recently obtained his masters degree from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute where he was mentored by artist such as Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Terri Lyne Carrington, Joe Lovano and Marco Pignataro.
During his career, Layth had the honor of performing all around the world as well as working with many acclaimed artists, including Simon Shaheen, Jack Dejohnette, Jose Merce, Shankar Mahadevan, Javier Limon, Gary Burton and A.R Rahman, to name a few. He has also performed both as a leader and as a sideman in venues like the Boston Symphony Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Concertgebouw hall, the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall, as well as the Abu Dhabi festival, the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival and the premier of his original compositions at the Montreal Jazz Festival with his sextet.
Layth is now based in Boston where he currently directs the Arab Music Ensemble at Tufts University as well as being a sought-after violinist and composer in the US and abroad.
An accomplished classically trained musician and improviser of diverse styles; Naseem has earned a reputation for fearlessly broadening the horizons of the cello on the world stage. Born and raised in Palestine he began his cello studies at age 12 at The Edward Said National Conservatory on Music. After finishing his studies in Palestine, Naseem was awarded a full scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music, in Boston US. Where he went on to achieve the highest honors for BMus in cello performance. At Berklee he studied with cellists Eugene Friesen and Owen Young, as well as Rob Thomas and Simon Shaheen.
A soloist, recording musician, chamber musician, and teacher, Naseem continues his global performance career. Naseem has performed at The Nancy Jazz Festival, Lebanons Beit Aldeen Festival, Jerash Festival, The Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall, Kennedy Center, and within the Aldeburgh World Orchestras London Olympic tour appearing at The BBC Proms in The Royal Albert Hall and at Amsterdams Concertgebouw.
Naseem has enjoyed performances alongside Ron Carter, Simon Shaheen, Leo Blanco, Javier Limon, Cafe De Silva, Jorje Drexler and for Alejandro Sanz at the Latin Grammy Awards in 2013.
The twice awarded string player of the year from The National Music Competition of Palestine, Naseem continues to be a voice for Palestinian culture and an advocate of its music through his global string quartet The Four Corners Quartet.
The Dance Hall (View)
7 Walker St
Kittery, ME 03904
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