Quad City Arts Visiting Artist Wanees Zarour -- April 17 through 20.

Full Concert:

Saturday, April 20, 7 p.m.

Circa '21 Speakeasy, 1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island IL

Abbreviated Concerts:

Wednesday, April 17, 6 p.m.

Rock Island Public Library Watts-Midtown Branch, 2715 30th Street, Rock Island IL

Thursday, April 18, 2 p.m.

Wesley United Methodist Church, 400 Iowa Avenue, Muscatine IA

Lauded by the Chicago Reader as a talent who "makes meaningful, seamless connections, rigorously integrating disparate styles so they make musical sense," award winning Palestinian-American composer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist Wanees Zarour will perform three area concerts as the latest guest in Quad City Arts' Visiting Artist series, his styles praised for transcending borders and drawing from traditions spanning the entire globe.

A community leader who believes in creating an environment that is conducive to artistic expression and collective music making. Zarour directs the Middle East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago, co-directs the Chicago Immigrant Orchestra, and leads 'East Loop,' a septet that explores the intersections between the maqam and jazz traditions. Born into a family of musicians, Zarour started his Western classical training on the violin at the age of seven at the Edward Said Conservatory of Music, where he showed extraordinary talent and fast advancement in his musical education. A few years after, Zarour started his training in Maqam, Middle Eastern Repertoire, the Arab violin tradition and picked up the buzuq, a long-necked chordophone most common in the Levant region. Learning from the masters, Zarour was able to acquire an extensive knowledge in maqam, Middle Eastern musical forms and rhythms. Zarour is a virtuoso on the buzuq, in addition to playing the oud, violin, and percussion.

Based in Chicago since 2003, Zarour founded Duzan Ensemble (2007) performing traditional Arab and Turkish music. In 2005, he joined the faculty at the Old Town School of Folk Music, teaching Rhythms, Maqam, Improvisation and Middle Eastern Ensemble classes for tenure that lasted a decade. Five years later, Zarour became the director of the Middle East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago, which grew under his watch to become a 50-to-60-piece orchestra that performs Turkish, Arab and Persian music in front of large audiences. At the ensemble, Zarour works on building a cohesive community of musicians and artists around the ensemble, and transcribes and arranges all the music that is performed by the group. With a large following, the ensemble performs four concerts per year to a sold-out audience, featuring guest artists from around the world.

During his residency as a Quad City Arts Visiting Artist, Wanees Zarour will perform three concert events open to a public: a full concert at the Circa '21 Speakeasy at 7 p.m. on April 20 ($10-20 admission), and free, abbreviated concerts at the Rock Island Public Library Watts-Midtown Branch at 6 p.m. on April 17 and Muscatine's Wesley United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. on April 18. For more information on the engagements and the Visiting Artist series, call (309)793-1213 and visit QuadCityArts.com.

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