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Dudu Tassa (Israeli-Iraqi rock) at SXSW March 15

posted Feb 26, 2014, 7:04 AM by Vu Nguyen
With his band, The Kuwatis, Dudu Tassa summons the work of two Iraqi-Jewish composers, Daoud and Saleh Al Kuwaiti (who happen to also be his grandfather and his great-uncle), to create an Israeli pop-rock informed by Arabic tradition.

“It was interesting to do,” Tassa recalls. “I was ready for something new. I was bored with Israeli pop music. And this struck something in me. I asked my mom for recordings of her father and I went to Israel radio to see what they had. Honestly, it wasn’t easy to listen to them – my ears weren’t used to such sad music and the melodies were difficult.”

In the end, he listened to over 200 pieces of music by the brothers for his Al Kuwaiti project. His choices turned out to be pieces he knew.

“I connected to those songs my mother sang when I was a child. I’d listen and I knew them I picked songs that I thought I could take to the West, where I could imagine harmonies in the music.”

Showcase details:
Sat, 03/15 @Russian House, 307 E. 5th Street, 9:00 pm