Extraordinary award-winning violinist/composer/educator Layth Sidiq brings together an exceptional ensemble of musicians in an eclectic program that showcases the beauty and diversity of Arabic maqam (mode). The group, consisting of Layth Sidiq (violin, vocals), Jacinta Clusellas (guitar), John Murchison (bass) and Jeremy Smith (percussion), will perform Layth’s original compositions as well as distinctive arrangements of beloved melodies from the Arab world. .
From instrumental improvisations (taqasim) that travel between multiple modes (maqamat) to complex rhythmic cycles and harmonic structures, the program will be a journey into the past, present and future of Arabic music. Layth is the current artistic director of the New York Arabic Orchestra and has shared the stage with major artists such as Simon Shaheen, Danilo Perez and Jack DeJohnette. He has also collaborated with Carnegie Hall on multiple educational projects and has performed worldwide at renowned festivals and cultural institutions including the London Jazz Festival, Boston Symphony Hall, WOMEX Expo, Jazz Festival of Montreal and Carnegie Hall.
Layth Sidiq, a Jordanian of Iraqi origin, began his musical training at the National Conservatory of Music in Amman with Timur Ibrahimov. At the age of 11, he had his first major solo performance with the European Chamber String Orchestra in front of Jordanian royalty. He came to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music where he received his bachelor’s degree in performance in 2014; he then obtained his master’s degree from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in 2016. He is featured on several award-winning albums and his first record, Son of Tigris, premiered at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2016. In 2018, he won second prize in the Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition and was the first and only Arab to participate. In 2019, together with Carnatic singer Rohith Jayaraman, he released a new EP titled Hamsa, which brought together Arabic and Carnatic music and presented a new sound for both musical forms rooted in the past and the future. In 2020, he won the Boston Music Award for “Best International Artist” of the year. In recent years, he has collaborated with the Kayany Foundation in Lebanon, an organization that runs educational programs for Syrian refugee children. He also directs the youth orchestra program at the Center for Arabic Culture in Boston and was a faculty member at Carnegie Hall’s Music Educators Workshop.