I am this close to blowing off all my responsibilities and heading north of the border to party with this man:
Omar Souleyman, the king of Syrian Dabke music, is in the midst of a rare North American tour with only a select number of stops. Unfortunately, neither Portland or Seattle are on that elite list. After passing through New York, Chicago, Cleveland (really? Cleveland?), Montreal, Ottawa, and Detroit (now you're just fucking with me!) Souleyman will make his only West Coast appearance at the Coastal Jazz Festival in Vancouver, BC—a super eclectic week-long event with acts ranging from Bill Frisell and Joshua Redman to Deerhoof and Bonobo.
Souleyman's glitchy, frantic, Middle-Eastern dance jams, pulsing with grimily synthesized bouzouk and not-of-this-world keyboard arpeggios, will hopefully be welcomed with the ruckus of a party they deserve—blowing the lid off the joint and proving that world music is best served raw and unpretentious, stripped of the pomp, polish, and digestibility of most world beat. If you're not convinced after the video below, I apologize and will promptly redirect you to safer territory.
Omar Souleyman performs Tuesday June 29 at the Coastal Jazz Festival in (waaaaah!) Vancouver, BC.
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