The Traditional Arabic Music Ensemble
Created in 1973 by George Sawa and the late Ebrahim Eleish, the Traditional Arabic Music Ensemble is a group of accomplished scholars and musicians dedicated to the performance of traditional Arabic music repertoire. The instrumental repertoire includes the sama'i, bashraf (peshrev), longa, tahmila, taqsim, folk and classical dances; the vocal repertoire includes the Andalusian muwashshah, qad halabi, and folk and popular songs of Egypt and Syria. The ensemble consists of George Sawa, master of the qanun (a type of psaltry); scholar and musician Suzanne Meyers Sawa; distinguished Lebanese traditional percussionist Michel Merhej Baklouk; and Nada El Masriya, a belly dancer born and trained in Cairo. The group has performed in venues across Canada, the USA and Europe, and has been recorded for broadcast by the CBC. They have two recordings: The Art of the Early Egyptian Qanun, volumes 1 and 2. Volume 1 was nominated for a JUNO award in 2008.