National Arab Orchestra Takht Ensemble Recap

The National Arab Orchestra Takht Ensemble debuted in Jacksonville, Florida on August 22, 2015 with a two hour live concert directed by the dynamic conductor and founder, Michael Ibrahim! Founded in 2009 the ensemble was originally a takht; a small chamber music group comprised of ‘oud (Arab lute), qanun (Arab zither), violin, nay (Arab reed flute), and riqq (Arab tambourine). Over the years the ensemble has grown to become an orchestra and is comprised of musicians of both Arab and non-Arab backgrounds who are either students or professional musicians in the community.

The NAO is an organization that promotes cultural awareness through their work with traditional and contemporary Arabic music; while at the same time preserving the Arabic culture’s rich heritage in musical arts. The NAO has performed across the country and has entertained many diverse audiences spreading harmony through Middle Eastern Music. For the first time, the National Arab Orchestra Takht Ensemble performed in Florida as part of the Hamilton North American Tour!

Founded in 2009 by Michael Ibrahim, the NAO Orchestra was originally a takht; a small chamber music group comprised of ‘oud (Arab lute), qanun (Arab zither), violin, nay (Arab reed flute), and riqq (Arab tambourine). Since then, the ensemble has grown to become an orchestra under the leadership of its founder and music director, Michael Ibrahim. The NAO Orchestra is comprised of musicians of both Arab and non-Arab backgrounds who are either students or professional musicians in the community.This concert brought joy to the ears and eyes of well over 300 attendees who witnessed the highly talented musicians perform songs from the early 1940’s to late 1980’s.

The National Arab Orchestra Takht Ensemble includes:

Michael Ibrahim flute / conductor 

Ghada Derbas singer 

Emad Ibrahim violin 

Jamal Sinno qanun 

Victor Ghannam oud 

Usama Baalbaki singer 

Roger Kashou tubla

NAO Pic 9

Jonathan Hammonds bass 

Gursharan Singh Sandhu riqq

Special thanks and appreciation goes out to Chairperson Eric Bateh and his committee. (Photographs taken by Carolin Cadoura Mardini)

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