Bethlehem Cultural Festival

Faris Ishaq and Saied Silbak

Another first for Bethlehem Cultural Festival! 

Musicians Faris Ishaq on Nay and Saied Silbak on Oud will be joining forces to play together for the first time ever. They are kindly jumping into action after the sad news that the Galilee Quartet had to cancel after the recently introduced 2 day PCR tests made a trip to the UK infeasible.

Faris Ishaq

Faris Ishaq is a Palestinian Nay master, global jazz flutist and composer. In today’s modern musical landscape, he is on a mission to unlock the ancient nay’s maximum potential. While facing stigma often associated with its perceived limitations, he’s been able to defy such expectations, performing in demanding idioms such as jazz and other world music traditions.

Pushing the boundaries of his instrument, Faris has performed with world-class jazz musicians like Danilo Perez and George Garzone. In 2018, Faris graduated from the “Global Jazz” Master program at Berklee College of Music, where he was given the “Matt Marvuglio” award for his remarkable achievements in elevating Nay Performance and incorporating Arabic music into Jazz. His sound comes from a deep understanding of Multiphonics, sound effects and percussive playing, which he blends with his compositions, influenced by Arabic, Jazz, and World Music. Faris has a unique approach of blending classical Arabic poetry meters into his improvisation and composition. His newly released album “Tripolarity” contains fresh and innovative rhythms that derive from his poems.

At Panama Jazz Festival, Faris premiered his new solo performance and album entitled “NAY: Nature Addresses You”. The performance aims to strengthen the bond between humanity and nature, the call for self-discovery and reconciliation with oneself and sheds light on his performance on the Nay as a global flute, where he expands its performance from melodic to percussive and harmonic expressions.  While playing the Nay, he also accompanies himself by playing leg-percussion and frame drum simultaneously.

Saied Silbak

Saied Silbak is a Palestinian composer and Oud player born in Shafaa`mr, a city located in the lower Galilee of occupied Palestine. He began training in classical piano at the age of four, before moving onto the oud in his early teens in order to delve deep into the nuances at the base of Arabic music. Silbak went on to train at the Beit Almusica Conservatoire where he later taught, before studying Music and Psychology in Haifa and then completing his Masters at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He has a unique understanding of different types of music, from Arabic, Turkish and Indian to classical Western styles. Silbak’s signature sound, created through his artful ability to fuse these styles together, has seen him perform around the world at festivals and concert series in the UK, Belgium, France, Palestine, Morocco, Argentina and beyond.