Composer - Saxophonist - Clarinetist
Photo: Shalan Alhamwy
Omar Znkawan is a Syrian saxophonist, clarinetist and composer who has been living in Berlin/Germany since 2018 and wrking on his project „Arabic Jazz music “.
Omar was a fellow of the program „Weltoffenes Berlin 2019“ of the Berlin Senate of Culture and Europe and is cooperating with „Werkstatt der Kulturen “.
In 2018 with his friends: Cem Dinler (Piano – TR), Can Tüfekcioglu (Drums – TR), Wataru Saito (Contrabass – Jap), Shingo Ali Masuda (Kanoon – Jap), they founded Omar Znkawan Band.
He is working on recreating the Oriental music in general, and especially the Arabic music by adding new rhythms and harmonies for the musical forms to spread the Eastern atmosphere in Western styles, so that the non-Oriental people will accept and like it.
Especially on the Saxophone, his aim is to introduce it with Oriental instruments in a new image by playing the quartertone in oriental melodies and improvising in the Oriental-Jazz style.
His projects reflect his new vision of Arabic music with his band playing some standards of jazz and Arabic/Oriental music by mixing harmony with improvisation.
Omar played in 2019 concerts with international players such as in Kammermusiksaal - Berliner Philharmoniker, Ulme 35 and in Werkstatt der Kulturen. Here some of the most highlighted concerts in 2019:
* 02.05.2019 played with his Band in Arab Jam Songs (Musik aus dem Sham) in Werkstatt der Kulturen
* 07.09.2019 Fairouz goes Jazz, Omar Znkawan with the violinist player Shalan Al-Hamwy played songs and pieces from one of the most famous musicians in the Arabic scene (Fairouz) in new jazz arrangements
* 12.10.2019 Once upon a Sax (Omar with Vladimir Karparov and Fuasi Abdul-Khaliq) together they introduced this instrument “Saxophone” in different colors of music because 2019 was the year of Saxophone in Germany.
On these styles (Jazz, Oriental and Balkan music), they played and improvised on different types of Saxophone.
* 12.12.2019 Sax sound fusion, famous Arabic melodies and fascinating Jazz meet each other in this concert.
Omar and his varied guests presented Oum Kalthum and Fairouz in a new jazz interpretation. As another highlight in this evening, they brought jazz pieces with Arabic instruments for instants Nay and Qanoon.