A recipient of the 2015 National Endowment for the Arts National Fellowship, the highest honor for traditional artists in the US, Iraqi oud musician and composer Rahim AlHaj combines traditional Iraqi maqams with contemporary styling and influence. Virtuosically playing on an instrument that spans 5,000 years, Rahim’s music represents a unique voice that speaks passionately to contemporary listeners of every musical background. Deftly combining traditional Iraqi maqams with contemporary stylings and influences, AlHaj seeks to translate into music the suffering, joy, anxiety, and determination that he has experienced and witnessed in his life as an Iraqi political refugee, and today as an American citizen. Communicating with a compelling immediacy that bypasses cultural obstacles, his music speaks irresistibly to the heart in a universal language of compassion. A Grammy award-nominated artist, AlHaj tours the country delivering a message of optimism while seeking to bring the world to a compassionate understanding of our shared destiny and to give the oppressed a voice for justice.
Residency dates: March 20-22