Rohana Overwater Ensemble
A true musical dialogue between cultures requires a thorough understanding of their cultural language. Genuine interest, curiosity and research into the smallest detail, the nuances and the rhetoric of each other's musical language is needed to create something new - something that enhances the qualities of both worlds instead of getting bogged down in platitudes and stereotypes.
The Rohana Overwater Ensemble is the fruit of the musical friendship between the Palestinian ud player Nizar Rohana and Dutch bassist Tony Overwater. Together they selected three prominent musicians from the Arab world and the Netherlands: clarinet player Maarten Ornstein; Tunisian violinist and viola d'amore player Jasser Haj Youssef and the Jordanian percussionist Nasser Salameh; Led by Tony and Nizar, each member of the ensemble contributes some of his compositions and jointly strive for the creation of new music with a authentic sound.
Some years ago the paths crossed of the Palestinian oud player Nizar Rohana and bassist Tony Overwater and they developed a close musical friendship. What they share is a genuine curiosity for each other's musical world; the classical Arabic music and the world of improvisation and Western early music. Rohana's academic background, he does research at the University of Leiden about the phrasing of the Arab taqsim styles, and Overwaters broad musical interests led to a detailed examination of the nuances and rhetoric of each other's styles. In this they differ from many so-called crossover projects which only glue together the stereotypical characteristics of the chosen music. Rohana and Overwater pursue a deeper fusion in which the details of the maqam oriented musical styles, with all its dialects, and the harmony driven music from the West, with all its subtleties and complexities, are not shunned.

Jasser Haj Youssef - violin, viola d’amore

Maarten Ornstein - clarinet

Nizar Rohana - ud

Tony Overwater - bass
Nasser Salameh - percussion

Video links:
Nizar Rohana
Jasser Haj Youssef
Tony Overwater
Maarten Ornstein
Nasser Salameh

18:00 Lecture (interview with Tony Overwater)
19:00 Syrian buffet
20:30 Concert

Korzo Theater
Prinsestraat 42
2513 CE Den Haag