Bassam Bishara — Musical Director, Composer, Master Teacher

Bassam portrait Bassam playing oude and singing Bassam playing oude and singing

Bassam Bishara was born in the village Rama in Upper Galilee, Israel 1954. He started his music education at the Robin Conservatory in Haifa, and graduated from the music department of the Hebrew University. Bassam taught Middle Eastern music at the Music Academy in Jerusalem, and has performed internationally as a soloist, blending tradition and innovation, and forging important musical links between the Middle East and the West, from traditional Arab compositions and arrangements to jazz, documentary films, and orchestral scores. Bassam has received several awards: the "Award of Honour" for his achievements in linking traditional Arabic music and the music of the West; the "Jerusalem Encouragement Award" for his contribution to the revival of cultural heritage; the "Israeli Radio Broadcast Award"; and the "Arab Women Association Award" (London, England) for his role in reconstructing classical and traditional Arabic repertoires. He has performed in England, Germany, Sweden, and at several universities in the United States. Bassam moved to Canada in 2001. He teaches Middle Eastern music at York University and is the music director and composer for Arabesque Dance Company & Orchestra.