City Paper is not for tourists
The Palestinian-raised, New York City-based oud and violin player Simon Shaheen has played Arabic classical music, blended Middle Eastern, Latin and jazz sounds, and directed a string section at the Grammys for a duet between Sting and Cheb Mami. A child and grandchild of musicians, Shaheen has been picking the strings of the oud, the pear-shaped, short-necked predecessor of the lute, since the age of five. At the Atlas he’ll be joined by his brother William Shaheen on oud and violin, Michel Merhej on percussion (including the tambourine-like riqq), and Jason Lindner on piano. The quartet will debut a Library of Congress–commissioned piece, “The Call,” that Shaheen notes was inspired by a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is about a statue that is awakened by the sound of music. Expect the other compositions to utilize Lindner’s jazz and Latin dance chops, as well as showcase Shaheen’s ability to invoke varied moods whether strumming or bowing—melancholy, orchestral grace, or frenzied high-pitched excitement.
SHAHEEN PERFORMS AT 8 P.M. AT THE ATLAS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, 1333 H ST. NE. FREE (TICKET FROM TICKETMASTER REQUIRED). (202) 399-7993.