The Al-Kindi ensemble is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Baalbeck!
Founded by qânun virtuoso Julien Jâlal Eddine Weiss (1953-2015), the Al-Kindi ensemble has resumed its journey under the musical direction of riqq master Adel Shams el Din. A new ensemble has been formed around the original nucleus with Sheikh Hamed Daoud, extraordinary vocalist of Sufi songs from Damascus, Khadija el Afritt on the qanun, nay artist Ziad Qadi Amin, Mohamad Qadri Dalal Syrian master of oud, joined by munchid Diaa Daoud and two vocal artists. Three whirling dervishes from the Great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus will accompany the ensemble, and Omar Sarmini, Syrian master of the qasidah, will be the evening’s special guest.
The new album “Trance soufie de Damas” is a poetic musical journey, between prayers, invocations, and songs of praise.
With the Al-Kindi ensemble, which it had already hosted in 2000 and 2003, the Baalbeck Festival brings moments of intense mystical-religious emotion back to life, magnified by the ecstatic dance of the dervishes. The ensemble’s return to Baalbeck will be a tribute to the group’s master-founder Julien Jalal Eddine Weiss.
THE AL KINDI ENSEMBLE 1983 – 2023
40 years of Arabic music
In this year 2023, the Al Kindi Ensemble celebrates its forty years of existence, forty years of beautiful uninterrupted nuptials with the great scholarly music of the Arab world. In 1983 when Julien Weiss (who was not yet called Jalal Eddine) founded a small trio of traditional Arabic music which he named after Al Kindi, in homage to the great philosopher, mathematician and music theorist, Abu Yusuf Al-Kindi, he does not imagine that forty years later, this name will be that of one of the best ensembles of Arab music, a reference of the genre.
With his traveling companions Ziad Kadi Amin from Damascus (ney, reed flute), Mohamad Qadri Dalal from Aleppo (Ud), and Adel Shams El Din from Alexandria (riqq, jingle percussion), he never stopped explore the riches and universality of Arab classical culture and music with the hope of exacerbating the positive idea of peaceful coexistence between peoples.
Like Western classical music ensembles, the Al-Kindi ensemble has sparked encounters, collaborations with the best singers and musicians from Syria, Iraq and Turkey with whom they have performed on the biggest stages. world music to Carnegie Hall in NY, touring all over Europe, from the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, to the Arab World Institute, to the Festival of Sacred Music in Fez, Baalbeck Festival…
The war in Syria with its forced exiles, its closed borders, and the premature death of Julien Weiss in January 2015 had a strong impact on the activities of the ensemble. Under the musical direction of Adel Shams el Din and around the original nucleus, a new ensemble has been formed with, as soloist voice, Sheikh Hamed Daoud, hymnode of the Great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus and the Tunisian Khadija el Afritt au qanun, joined by two choristers, Diaa Daoud and Mohamed Husam Takrori. This album “Sufi trance of the whirling dervishes of Damascus” which appears in 2023, is the first recorded and produced since the disappearance of Julien Jalal Eddine Weiss, it is also the first album of Sheikh Hamed Daoud.