Omar Bashir
عمر بشير


Omar Bashir was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1970 and began playing the oud at the age of five under the guidance of his father, Munir Bashir. At the age of seven he joined the School of Music and Ballet in Baghdad, where he would eventually become a teacher, establishing his own group of 24 musicians that specialised in traditional Iraqi music. The group gave regular performances across the Middle East and even as far afield as Russia. In 1991 Omar Bashir returned to Budapest and enrolled at the Franz Liszt Academy. He also performed as a solo artist and as a duo with his father, until the latter passed away in 1997. Omar continues his father's musical legacy while at the same time developing his own sound, incorporating elements of jazz, Latin and flamenco music into his compositions and improvisations.

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Selected Recordings

Duo de 'Ûd (with Munir Bashir)
(Auvidis B 6874)

This pairing of Omar Bashir with his father Munir features a selection of Arab urban songs (baladi) recorded in 1994. The second oud is used within each piece to provide a 'dialogue' and echo of the first. Excellent notes to accompany the CD are provided by Simon Jargy.

1. Fôg el-Nakhel ('Above the Palm Trees') 12:38
2. Pastâ Baghdadiyya (Popular Iraqi Tune) 8:00
3. Hanân ('Tenderness') 12:37
4. Dabkâ (Iraqi Dance) 10:35
5. Ishtâr (Assyrian-Babylonian Goddess of Fertility) 13:30
6. Al-Amira al-Andaluciyya ('The Andalucian Princess') 11:35

(Byblos BLCD 1010)

This is the third album featuring Omar Bashir, and he presents another selection of Iraqi maqamat. He is accompanied by percussion on several tracks. Two of the pieces are based on Kurdish and Iraqi traditional melodies, and Bashir develops them in his unique style.

1. Lourca (trad. Kurd) Maqam Al Laouk 18:42
2. Fok al-Nakhl (trad. Iraq) Maqam Hijaz 18:34
3. Baghdad (Munir Bashir) Maqam Nahawand 8:59
4. Babel (Omar Bashir) Maqam Moukhalaf, Sigah, Houzam 7:11

(Voix de l'Orient VDLCD 674)

Omar Bashir's fourth album contains three extended pieces of music, one taqsim and two sama'is composed by Bashir himself. The sound engineer on this recording is Munir Bashir himself. This is a beautifully presented CD by a modern master of the oud.

1. Maqâm Hijaz Kar 17:07
2. Sama'i Layali Baghdad (Omar Bashir) 12:23
3. Sama'i Ashwak (Omar Bashir) 12:33

(Megaphone CD MEGA05)

This release contains a series of taqasim, together with two compositions by Munir Bashir. The recording spans two CDs and is a tribute from Omar to his father.

Disc 1
1. Maqâm Rast 11:51
2. Maqâm Hijâz Kâr Kurd/Señora Andalucia 12:53
3. Maqâm Hijâz/Maqâm Awj 7:48

Disc 2
1. Maqâm Hijâz Kâr 18:14
2. Love and Peace/Maqâm Nahawand 18:10
3. Maqâm 'Ajam 11:11

Al Andalous
(Byblos BLCD 1020)

This excellent album features Omar Bashir on oud together with Turo Andras and Balint Petz on Spanish guitar. The interplay between the two instruments is very effective, and the CD even includes a piece written by Jamil Bashir called 'My Favourite Dance'.

1. Moliendo Cafe Traditional Spanish (Omar Bashir) 10:02
2. Improvisation and Lunga (Omar Bashir) 18:30
3. Andalus (Omar Bashir) 22:26
4. My Favourite Dance (Jamil Bashir) 6:45
5. Improvisation and Ishtar (Omar Bashir) 11:01

Live in Beirut
(Digital Press Hellas BRCD 002)

This CD is a live recording of a concert in the Almadina Theatre, Beirut, in 2000 in honour of the late Munir Bashir. There is a mixture of pieces composed by father and son, and Omar Bashir is accompanied on percussion by Ibrahim Jaber.

1. Lebanon Nights (Omar Bashir) 17:57
2. Spirit of Nahawand 13:47
3. Sound from Seville and Turkish Folk Music 5:08
4. To my Mother 4:43
5. One Day in my Memory and Samai Zykrayati 11:56

Flamenco Night
(Voix de l'Orient VDLCD 685)

Another live recording, this time in Jordan in 1997, which features some of the old favourites. The accompanying musicians are Robert Michael (guitar), Bashar al-Azzawi (guitar), Benjamin Yousef (bass) and Maher Hanhan (percussion).

1. Lika' 6:43
2. Ji Mani Wali (to Jamil Bashir) 8:38
3. Al Oud Wal Andalous 5:48
4. Baghdad (to Munir Bashir) 7:06
5. Pharaon 6:44
6. Minal'oud Ilal Guitar 14:24

To My Father
(Voix de l'Orient VDLCD 701)

On this CD, Omar Bashir presents a selection of taqasim and melodies composed by his father, Munir Bashir.

1. Takassim 'Makam Rast' (Iraqi Folk) 12:04
2. Takassim 'Makam Nahawand' (Turkish Folk) 9:08
3. Takassim 'Makam Ajam'/'Tala min Beit abouha' (Iraqi Folk) 4:10
4. Improvisation/'Oum el Rouba' (Munir Bashir) 12:05
5. 'Ichbilia'-'Nareen' (Munir Bashir) 14:26

(Inedit W 260144)

This recording is in the same vein as the earlier 'Maqâm' album, and is on the same label that produced his father's finest recordings.

1. Taqsîm Maqâm Nahâwând 11:34
2. Taqsîm Maqâm Hijâz Kâr Kurd 15:50
3. Taqsîm Maqâm 'Ajam 19:21
4. Taqsîm Maqâm Hijâz, Segâh & 'Âwj 11:34
5. Taqsîm Maqâm Hijâz Kâr 19:25


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