Location image of event venue


Iraqi Oud Virtuoso, Rahim Alhaj
at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, May 4

Saturday, May 04, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)
Tickets: $24.50 advance / $26.50 at door. You can purchase tickets online at:


"Twice Grammy-nominated oud virtuoso and composer, Rahim Alhaj finds in his ancient instrument a unique voice that speaks passionately to contemporary listeners of every musical background. Born in Baghdad, Rahim creates music that delicately combines traditional Iraqi maqamat (melodic modes) with contemporary stylings and influences, translating into intensely lyrical music the suffering, joy, and determination that he has experienced in his life as an Iraqi, a political refugee, and today as an American citizen. Maintaining a subtle dialogue of Eastern and Western sounds, his compositions flow gracefully from high-spirited, virtuosic displays to delicately nuanced pieces, establishing new concepts without altering the foundation of traditional Iraqi oud music. Palestinian-American percussionist, Issa Malluf, accompanies tonight's performance.

Rahim studied the oud (six-stringed lute), one of the principal traditional instruments of the Arab world, under famed musicians Munier Bashir and Salim Abdul Kareem at the Institute of Music in Baghdad. Forced into exile in 1991, he taught and performed throughout the Middle East before relocating to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since coming to the United States, Rahim has released several recordings, two of which earned him Grammy nominations. His most recent recording, Little Earth, symbolizes his global vision with a selection of duets with far-flung musicians—from guitar master Bill Frisell to Cape Verde vocalist Maria de Barros—united by his unique musical vision." (text from Freight and Salvage website).

This is Alhaj playing "Taqsm Maqam" fron his CD, "When the Soul is Settled: Music of Iraq":

You can visit Rahim Alhaj's website: http://www.rahimalhaj.com/home.html