“Sour Music Festival”: a day for Zaki Nassif


When we mention the names of male and female singers such as Fayrouz, Wadih Al-Safi, Sabah, and Nasri Shams Al-Din, the name Zaki Nassif (1918 – 2004) comes naturally in this context, being, like these colleagues, a cornerstone in the course of the Lebanese song in the twentieth century, singing And we sing.

After honoring these male and female singers, in addition to Melhem Barakat, in the first four sessions of the “Sour International Music Festival”, the festival will dedicate its fifth session, which will be held next Saturday, June 12, Lazaki Nassif, in order to “honor his history and artistic legacy,” he says, in an interview with “The New Arab,” actor and director Qassem Istanbouli, founder of the “Free Lebanese National Theater”, which is hosting the event.

The festival program includes musical performances by the National Orchestra and a group of voices from the Higher National Conservatory of Music led by the musician Lebanon Aoun, in addition to a student choir led by the musician Zina Ibrahim, where a number of the works of the owner of “Above Our Mountains” will be restored, along with Tracks from contemporary works Other Lebanese national songs.

This festive day for the late musician also includes an art exhibition in which drawings and portraits are presented in which he appears, and photos from his personal and family archives, which were provided to the organizers by the Zaki Nassif Music Program at the American University of Beirut. It will also be shown Documentary On Nassif’s life, it was produced by the “Tiro Art Society” based on materials from the archives maintained by the university.

Istanbouli indicates that the “Free Lebanese National Theater” will receive, during the festival, thirty percent of its usual capacity, following the prevention rules followed to confront the spread of the Corona virus, while the events will be broadcast on the theater platforms, “Tiro Association for Arts” and “Istanbouli Theater” On social media.

The Lebanese director and actor also says that the insistence on holding the festival, in light of the difficult health and economic conditions that Lebanon is facing, represents in itself a kind of challenge and a desire to go forward, with the intention of making art (free) available to people and returning art and culture to a public space suffocated by the crisis. that the country suffers from.

If Zaki Nassif was known, outside Lebanon, as a singer whose voice was famous for his performance of a number of pieces such as “Ya Ashiqat al-Ward”, “Our Lovers Hawlana”, and “Naqili Ahla Zahra”, the compositional aspect of his career is still almost unknown to non-specialists; Because only a few know that his musical ear and vision are behind a number of the most famous Lebanese national and folkloric works, such as “Tallo Habbabna Tallo” and “Blink Your Eye” sung by Wadih Al-Safi, “Welcome to the look Ahlan” sung by Sabah, and “Raja’ Long live Lebanon”, which was performed by many voices after him. He also has tunes for Fayrouz, most notably “Ahwak Bila Amal”.


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