Omar Souleyman with Atash and The Azmaris at Empire Garage @ Empire Control Room & Garage, Austin [4 September]

Omar Souleyman with Atash and The Azmaris at Empire Garage

18:00 - 22:30

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Empire Control Room & Garage
606 E 7th St, Austin, Texas 78701
Heard Presents: OmarSouleyman2
with Atash and The Azmaris
in support of raising funds for Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)


Syrian musician Omar Souleyman’s highly acclaimed new album, To Syria, With Love is out now on Diplo's label — Mad Decent. In celebration of the album, Souleyman recently played very select U.S. dates including festival performances at Form Arcosanti and MoogFest. His live shows have been received with critical praise…

The label says To Syria With Love sets politics aside, emphasizing «his emotional connection to the land and people but not without heartache in view of the nation's current state.»

Superimposed over complex electronic arrangements provided by Hasan Alo, the new music is joined with lyrics and poetry co-written by Souleyman’s long-time collaborator Shawah Al Ahmad. Medium to high-speed dabke and baladi styles are heavily featured throughout as Souleyman expresses his overarching longing for collective peace.

Souleyman, who has collaborated with Björk and Four Tet, began his career as a prolific wedding singer, releasing nearly 500 live albums before civil war broke out in his native Syria in 2011. He then moved to Turkey and in 2013 released Wenu Wenu via Ribbon/Domino, which NPR called, “…a jam so visceral, thrilling and intense as to make the mysterious matter of earthly borders seem hardly worth the time to contemplate.” The 2015 release Bahdeni Nami garnered widespread critical praise including The Guardian who proclaimed, “It’s so fast that the only appropriate way to engage with it is to wriggle your limbs. Melodies are both abrasive and ebullient, chattering endlessly like raucous birdsong.”

He has bolstered his growing status as a world and electronic music icon establishing an extensive international following after touring widely and performing at major festivals including Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, Pitchfork Paris and Roskilde. Since its founding in 2013, Souleyman has been an advocate for the charity “Our Heart Aches for Syria,” which operates in collaboration with Doctors Without Borders. In that same year, he performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway.
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