Middle Eastern Dance:
Musicians Directory

These entries are also cross-listed on the Media: Music page, if they have tapes, etc. available for sale. Check that page for additional ordering information, such as lists of music vendors.


Adam Basma Music and Dance Company
Los Angeles, CA USA
Phone: 213-850-6300 or 213-934-9493
Fax: 213-525-0615
Website: http://www.adambasma.com
Email: abasma@4link.net
Their dancers hail from all over the Middle East, Latin America and Europe; they perform both folkloric and cabaret styles in authentic costumes imported from overseas. See their website for many pictures and information.

Ancient Future
Website: http://www.ancient-future.com/band.html
World fusion music... "The award-winning music of Ancient Future combines the contemporary sounds of jazz and rock with the irresistible rhythms of African, Balinese, Indian, Middle Eastern and South American percussion, the rich harmonies of Europe and the beautiful melodies of Asia. In short, their music is an exhilirating fusion of exciting rhythms and exotic sounds from around the globe."

Balladina Folk Orchestra
Eugene, OR
Website: www.efn.org/~dsears/Balladina
"...Balladina was formed by folk-dancers who enjoyed playing traditional folk-dance music. Balladina's musicians sing and play music from many cultures [including Middle Eastern] on a wide variety of instruments wearing equally diverse folk costumes. ...Balladina worked with Kuwaiti musician, Amer Jaafar, to add Middle-Eastern music as one of its specialties..."

John Bilezikjian
Dantz Records
PO Box 2434
Laguna Hills, CA 92654-2434
phone/fax: 714-581-5664
Email: DantzRec@AOL.com
Website: http://www.netcom.com/~dantzrec/info.htm
John has been performing for over 40 years; he is an entertainer, musician, singer, composer and teacher, with a B.A. in violin, oud and composition from Cal. State Univ. Northridge. His music embraces the traditions of Armenia, the Arab World, Greece, Russia, Israel, Eastern Europe, Asia, Spain and Latin America. He has written and recorded rock and roll, music for bellydancing, television and motion picture soundtracks, and has produced a myriad of original compositions. He plays over 50 instruments, although his focus has been and remains the oud. You can hear John on Placido Domingo's release "De mi Alma Latina, Ofra Haza's release "Kirya", Robert Palmer's "Ridin High", cantor Isaac Behar's "Sephardic Sabbath Chants", and Leonard Cohen's CD "Cohen Live". Bookings are available, but dates fill quickly.

Tapes and CD's available (see website): Belly dance tapes featuring routines designed for the special dancer. Also available: Armenian, Greek, Persian, Sephardic and Turkish folk music; classical and solo oud. Also sold: instruments, t-shirts and a cookbook; check out the website for more information.

Brothers of the Baladi
PO Box 14083
Portland OR 97214, USA
(From medance list) Musicians, with albums such as Further Journeys.... "Much of their music is Turkish..." "...Michael Beach [of Brothers of the Baladi] speaks Turkish and enjoys a respect from Middle Eastern musicians in general that few Americans get." "Michael Beach [is] very sweet, generous, and accomodating."

Website: http://www.rockweb.com:80/bands/catawampus
The band features dancer Tarasita. "The band plays a great dance mix, featuring a lot of hand drumming and world beat. Their website is one of the best I've seen and features some belly dance footage." --Tarasita.

Vince Delgado, of Jazayer
PO Box 625
Forest Knolls, CA 94933
Website: http://www.vincedelgado.com
A master percussionist specializing in Near Eastern percussion instruments, Vince Delgado has been performing, teaching and recording for many years. Jazayer is his own ensemble, performing classical, urban and folkloric music of the Near East. Website includes sound samples, and a way to keep current on upcoming events and recordings, amonth other things. "Solo drum CD: Dangerous Rhythms! (Also see Near Eastern Music Calendar info. below under 'Resources' for performances with Jazayer.) By appointment only, small groups and private lessons."

Desert Knights
Redstorm Productions
PO Box 15051
Phoenix AZ 85060-5051 USA
Email: adam@redstorm-productions.com
A belly dance musical group in Arizona; they perform locally and have appeared on the cable tv show, The Joy of Belly Dancing, hosted by Yasmina. They have a cd/cassette for sale, titled Desert Nights; if interested inquire at the address above.

Desert Wind
Website: http://members.aol.com/deswind
They produce and sell cds and cassettes that include 'mid-east' dance internationally; Ladyslipper is one of their distributors. Their music is also on Suzanne Del Vecchio's videos as well as on other videos. Their newest album is a four-CD set entitled : "Sarasvati: A Celebration of World Dance". This album includes Doug Adams of Light Rain in a song they wrote together entitled "Desert Rain".

Mary Ellen Donald
Mary Ellen Books
PO Box 7589
San Francisco, CA 94120 USA
Hear her Fridays at Amira Cafe, 590 Valencia (at 17th), (415) 621-6213 (call to confirm and for reservations) San Francisco, occasional workshops elsewhere. Small group, semi-private, or private lessons in drum, tarr, deff, zill (and practically any percussion); book/cassette sets also available.

Web site: http://www.west.net/~kesslari/farabi.html
"Farabi is a group of American musicians playing traditional Turkish, Arab, and Greek music - some music for Oriental Dance, some folk (debkes and karsilamas), some classical (sazsemais and such)." " With just four musicians (oud, viola, riqq, and dumbek), their music has a very intimate, small-club feel to it. They play a huge range of types (oriental, folk, "classical," etc. from Arabic, Persian, Greek, and Turkish genres), and their two tapes reflect that diversity. The tapes are called "Travels with Farabi" and "Taverna," and both contain at least one full dance set (two on "Taverna") that have great taqsims and drum solos. Granted they are friends of mine, but I would recommend them even if I didn't know them. Really good stuff (and the liner notes are fun, too)!" --Amanda Audio samples soon to be included on web page.

Steven Flynn
Visionary Dance Productions
P.O. Box 30797
Seattle, WA 98103 USA
(Excerpted their flyer) Steven Flynn, Northwest composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, composed all the music on Delilah's Visionary Dance videotapes (see Delilah/Visionary Dance under "videos"). Welcome to the Dance - 40 min - audio cassette $10, cd $16.50; 9 pieces including music heard on Delilah's videos Bellydance Workshop Vol. III, and the Costume Workshop, as well as new works. "...music that, while non-traditional, is perfectly suited to the bellydance." Side 2 contains a full 16 min routine with drum solo. Tales of the Night Wind - 38 min - audio cassette $10; 7 pieces written for Delilah's video series Bellydance Workshop. Includes baladi, 6/8, masmoudi, karshilama, chefti-telli and a bolero. Inner Dances - 40 min - audio cassette $10; a utility tape designed for use with various types of physical (workout) and mental (meditation) exercises. Side 1 contains music composed for the warm-up ritual in Delilah's Bellydance Workshop Vol. I; side 2 contains a long slow drum chant, followed by the Zahr (a Middle Eastern trance rhythmn). Audio cassettes and cd's shipped free.

Kairo By Night
email: SheikSadiq@aol.com
Kairo By Night is an Egyptian Cabaret ensemble with 2 albums: Kairo By Night, Vols I and II which contain "original songs, traditional favorites and a couple of Eddie the Sheik arrangements". One of their original songs, "Anahat", can be heard on Suzanna Del Veccio's newest video. Those interested in ordering can email the address above, or try vendors including Unicorn Bellydance Supply, Dahlal, and Kismet Boutique in Salt Lake City.

Dr. Najeeb Khoury
Los Angeles, CA USA
"Producer, performer, writer, Dr. Najeeb Khoury has played the Oud as a tool for communication to the Middle Eastern people for years. He has sponsored countless Middle Eastern singers such as Feiruz from Lebanon. He has also played for famous dancers such as Suhaila Salimpour, Jamila Salimpour, Antoinette Awayshak just to mention a few. Najeeb was the organizer of a 35 piece Middle Eastern band and toured with them throughout the 80's. For more information email amrik@earthlink.net" --Amrik

Light Rain
Magi Productions
PO Box 356
Larkspur CA 94947 USA
phone: 415-892-0181
Email: magiprod@aol.com
Magi Productins sells tapes of their music Dream Dancer, Dream Suite, Valentine to Eden, and Dark Fire. De Ann of Light Rain (address above) has a cassette out, "The Art of Playing Finger Cymbals". Occasional workshops.

Lights On Productions
Billy Woods aka Sylvanus, and David Kroup
PO Box 17714
Boulder, CO 80308 USA
phone: 303-684-6707
Their work includes the instruction tape World of Dumbek Vol. 1, 2, and music releases Eyes Behind the Veil and Seeds of Time. Billy Woods has traveled to the Phoenix area for the last several years to teach workshops and to appear on Pam Parker's (Yasmina's) TV shows.

Viken Najarian
southern CA, USA
Website: http://home.earthlink.net/~myrrhis/najmain.htm
Oud builder and musician, he has a recording made in 1996 entitled "Legacy". For more information, including a brief bio, pictures of his instruments and a samples from his recordings, see his website.

12448 W. Cleveland Avenue
New Berlin, WI 53151 USA
email: denisk@execpc.com
Oasis Website
Mediterranean and Middle Eastern music. Their works include: Evolution on cd and cassette, Night at the Oasis, Songs from the Oasis, and The Drums of Oasis on cassette tape only. $10 for cassettes, $15 for cd's; add $1.50 per tape or cd for postage and handling. Oasis is also available for concerts around the country. They are listed elsewhere on the Web in the Middle Eastern Percussion and the Bellydance Contacts pages. Check out their website; they've got a color photo of the band, a downloadable sample of their music and the means to order their CD's and cassettes online.

Oriental Orchestra of Toowoomba
Toowoomba, Queensland Australia
Website: http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/Stage/7098/
They are an oriental dance and music ensemble, with a CD due out by Christmas 1997. The Orchestra includes players of a variety of instruments including, but not limited to: saxophone, telephone, dumbek, tabla, zills, bouzouki, violin, clarinet, cello, didgeridoo and a variety of other percussion instruments. See their webpage for further details.

Susu Pampanin
of Cairo Cats/Giza Club/Aswan Dancers
829 Elizabeth St.
San Francisco, CA 94114 USA
415-648-6382 or 415-282-7910
Hear her *some* (not all) Saturdays at Amira Cafe, 590 Valencia (at 17th), (415) 621-6213 (call to confirm and for reservations) Basics, Arabic rhythms, "party tricks" (finger-rolls, slaps and pops); accompanying dancers or instruments; ad-libbing within a rhythm, performance prep with real-world performance opportunities.

Hossam Ramzy
Primrose Cottage
Waterlane, South Godstone
Surrey, UK RH98JX
He's a renowned Middle Eastern musician, recently or currently touring with the UnLedded Robert Plant/Jimmy Paige Led Zep tour, and has many Middle Eastern dance cd's and cassettes out on the market.

The Seventh Veil Ensemble
North Bay area CA, USA
Email: crowzar@metro.net
Website: http://www.angelfire.com/ca/sistersofthemoon/sistersveil.html
Originally created to provide the Sisters of the Moon Bellydance Troupe with live music to perform to, this group of versatile and talented musicians has made the Seventh Veil Ensemble into a viable, independent entity providing exciting Middle Eastern music for the bellydance community in the North Bay. Directed by Angelena Kyzar, we not only perform traditional tunes like Rampi Rampi and various parted routines, but also perform original compositions by Angelena and do performance art pieces in cooperation with the Sisters and the poetry of Magick.

P.O. Box 24
Capitola, CA 95010 USA
Sirocco is composed of Armando (Uncle Mafufo) on drums, mostly, and Suliman el Coyote on everything else, mostly. Their works include Sirocco Vol. I, II, and III available on cassette tapes. (From medance list) "...[they] cover the full spectrum of Middle Eastern music--well, more than that: anything from Afghanistan to Venezuela, as long as you can belly dance to it. Both classically trained and capable of achingly pure, flawless renditions of traditional pieces, they're just as likely to throw in a bar of "Summertime" or "Dueling Banjos" to make sure you're paying attention. On tape, excellent basic rhythms to practice to (and some great drum solos); in person, funny, unpredictable, and likely to throw enough surprises into a drum solo to challenge *any* dancer trying to keep up with them. Either way [live or on tape], WELL worth [hearing]."

Trans Arabian Sound
Reached through: TAS Investments Corp.
8514 Chruch Light Lane
Houston, TX 77064
phone: 713-896-1630
Musicians, including Ibrahim El Samahy. "I'm not sure about the usual type of commercial sources, but I do know that Ibrahim El Samhay (please excuse any misspelling, I don't have any of the tapes at the office) of Trans Arabian Sound will transcribe songs into sheet music. I know this for a fact because I had a discussion with him about it. Not only does he need to know the piece of music you want transcribed, but he also needs to know the anticipated orchestration (instruments). Tailor made sheet music to fit very specific needs." --Tedi

UCSB Middle East Ensemble
Prof. Scott Marcus
Ethnomusicology Program
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106 USA
Music Dept. Info: 805-893-3261
Univ. Info: 805-893-8000
Website: http://www.create.ucsb.edu/ucsbmee/
"...the Ensemble has produced two tapes (of live and studio recordings) and accompanying booklets containing sheet music of both classical and popular Middle Eastern tunes. ...the Ensemble performs quarterly concerts at UCSB, as well as numerous other concerts throughout Southern California (as well as two very successful concerts in the Bay Area in 1995...)" --Amanda

The music book and tapes sometimes are on sale at the Mendocino ME Music and Dance Camp in August (see Calendar page for next Camp info, if available, or Annual Workshops/Camps page for a summary).

Uncle Mafufo
P.O. Box 24
Capitola, CA 95010 USA
phone/fax: 408-475-3591
Uncle Mafufo, who plays with Sirocco (see listing for Sirocco above), has audio drum instruction tapes (and a video) teaching traditional rhythmns and playing techniques. "Easy to follow", "very good". Teaches basic rhythms and techniques, accompanying dancers, analyzing rhythmic patterns. Ask about performance schedule.

Billy Woods
See under "Lights On Productions", above.


Near Eastern Music Calendar
Near Eastern Music West
60 Pastori Ave., Suite 37
Fairfax, CA 94930 USA
phone: 415-456-7415
Live music listed, only. $7 year.

Last Modified: 1 Feb 1998
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