Brussels Jazz Orchestra ft. Osama Abdulrasol & Jahida Wehbe: 'Night 352'
A touch from the east
The Arabian story Night 352 from the tales of 1001 nights is about the blonde slave princess Zumurrude. The saga from the famous collection of short stories was adapted into a modern parable especially for the Iraqi composer and qanun player Osama Abdulrasol, which inspired him to create new compositions.
Night 352 offered Brussels Jazz Orchestra the opportunity to delve into the complex patterns of classical Arabic music. More than a union of a western jazz orchestra and an Arabic harp, the arrangements are the result of a mutual fascination for both genres.
Together with Jahida Wehbe (vocals), Osama Abdulrasol and BJO approach the age-old story of Zumurrude with a fresh, current perspective.
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The band taught me that you have to keep looking for the work you love most.
The story and the music
Writer Hazim Kamaledin (Longlist International Arabic Booker Prize 2015) rewrote the story about night 352 for composer and qanun player Osama Abdulrasol. It became a modern fairy tale about contemporary slavery, but also about the passion for music, and how it can push one's boundaries. Something that composer Abdulrasol himself can speak about.
Tradition, present and future, as well as fiction and non-fiction, intertwine in his new compositions. His music was arranged for the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. The Middle Eastern fairy tale paints the backdrop while the music tells the story.
Photo © Johannes De Bruycker