Versatile and thrilling oud player
“The oud is not ‘ethnic’. It is not ‘Arabic’. It is not a broken guitar or a funny-looking banjo, but rather an instrument that holds its own and has something to say in any musical or emotional context.” And Joseph Tawadros should know. Born in Cairo, raised in Sydney and now resident in London, he has arguably done more than any other oud player to expose Western culture to its evocative sound. With 16 albums under his belt by his mid-thirties, he’s performed with symphony orchestras and venerable jazzersalike, proving that the oud can indeed seamlessly slip into other genres and styles. And, again, it’s an instrument that expressesa range of emotion. In Joseph’s hands, it can be played at breakneck speed,butitcan also deliver slow-motion melancholia.Hemight have the look of a showman(and the quips too), but the art of Joseph Tawadros is underpinned by a weighty, transcendent spirituality.