Kinan Azmeh (clarinet), Dima Orsho (voice), Issam Rafea (oud), Jasser Haj-Youssef (violin and Viola d’amour, Kinan Abou-Afach (cello)
Hewar (Dialogue in Arabic) is an attempt to transcend the barriers of musical disparities and misconceptions. This is achieved through a unique musical exchange between different musical personalities (using each individual instrument as the only means of communication), reflecting an approach that is as musically-based as much as it has social and political references and subtexts. It is adventurous Arabic music that is inspired by Arabic music traditions but by no means limited by them. The three performers-composers in their spontaneous “dialogue” on stage aim to blur the lines between the improvised and the composed, the traditional and the contemporary. The ensemble brings together a fresh and diverse musical palate and influences by frequently inviting guest artists, and drawing from an array of musical traditions—namely Arabic, jazz, and classical music among others. Hewar was unveiled with a concert that took place in the historical setting of al-Zaytuna church in Damascus’ old city in September 2003, and has been touring the US, Europe, Japan, and the Middle-East since its creation. It has released three albums “Hewar” in 2005 “9 days of Solitude” in 2007 and “letters to a homeland” in 2012.