Maya Youssef @ Kilkenny Arts Festival
‘You’re a girl. Just forget about it. This is an instrument played by men.’
That’s what a nine-year-old Maya Youssef was told when she first discovered the qanun. Decades later, Youssef is one of the few female virtuosos of the 78-string, zither-like instrument popular throughout the Arab world. But it was only after war broke out in her native Syria that she began to compose. The result was Syrian Dreams, an album whose mix of traditional Syrian music with jazz and flamenco has been met with rave reviews. For this magical concert, Youssef brings her unique sound to the Set, accompanied by cellist Barney Morse-Brown and percussionist Elizabeth Nott.
Published on 3 July 2018