Gig Seeker Pro


New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Jazz World


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"DAWOUD - Renegade Sufi"

"DAWOUD - Renegade Sufi (Mystic Jaz/self-produced) Featuring Dawoud on sitar, sitar synth, guitars, flute, raita, ting-sha, percussion, voice & assorted unearthly noises; Mordior Bamba on vocals; Tonya Ridgley on flute & vocals; Danny Zanker & Mark Hagan on basses and Ravish Momin on percussion. Local sitarist Dawoud has been coming down to DMG for many years and has even played here once. I hadn't heard of sitar synth before, but here it is. This is modern sitar music, not doing ragas and even uses some drum machine samples as percussion. The lovely chanting vocals singing Peace on Earth make this sound like it would be radio-friendly. I do like the instrumental tracks more than the vocal ones and the instrumental ones make up the majority of these pieces. On Burn the Idols, the flute and sitar play an enchanting melody with layers of echoes over a hypnotic, looped percussion groove. What I dig the most about this is the way Dawoud uses subtle layers of spacey, electronic samples that float around his central sitar playing, adding some mystery to what some might think they already anticipate will happen. Groovy mood music that is not too demanding but still is still enticing"
- BLG. Dwontown Music Gallery

"Dawoud and the Spirit of John Coltrane"

"Dawoud and his sitar created a soothing atmosphere. The people mediated, absorbed in the creative mystic sounds. The audience enjoyed traveling musically with Dawoud & the New Culture in a pilgrimage state of spiritual inspiration"
- Ali Rahman. New York Beacon.

"Dawoud's Mystic Jaz"

"A soulful ignition of jazz rhythms and blues infused with East Indian and African hypnotic sounds. A surefire hit for (those) who wish to gain a spiritual sense of inner calm. A must for eclectic music listeners"
- Heather Covington. Disilgold Publications.

"Something Real"

"In a world where evil forces have effectively hijacked not only the public's peace of mind but the very thing we call "religion," it is truly heartening to find spirited artists like Dawoud who understand, experience, and live true religion through their art. The essence of all religion is spiritual connectivity with the Divine; who better than a contemporary Renegade Sufi to bring the classical mysticism of Islam to the modern world?"

- Azhar Usman; Stand up comedian

"Assorted Comments"

"Your stuff is wonderful. I love how you've mixed Jazz and electronica. What a fantastic modern take on this most ethereal of ancient instruments."

"Dawoud, I can't remember since I heard an artist play the sitar as beautifully, moving as you do. I place you up there with Shankar".

"Dawoud! You're the Jimi Hendrix of the sitar!"

"Absolutely Beautiful!!!! Your music gave me chills! Awesome. You are an inspiration to say the least.Today is a wonderful day for me because I have found an artist that has brought music to a new level for me. Thank you sharing your beautiful music. This is what I call creation at it's best. Thank you for venturing out into the unknown to bring forth originality to us all."

"I really like the idea of a Renegade Sufi Alchemist, and you are a brilliant qawwal as well! I dig the exotic audible waves you transmit."

"You are doing someting really unique."

"I just wanted to say that you are honestly the most talented musician I have seen."
- Unsolicited audience members


Dawoud produced the following solo recordings:
"Life Experience" (out of print)
"Rainy Afternoon Meditation" (out of print)
"Dawoud & the New Culture Ensemble" (out of print)
"The Tao of Mystic Jaz" (available through my website as a download)
"Renegade Sufi" (available everywhere).
"Journey of No Return" (soon to be released)

Dawoud's credits with theater include:
"The Brothers Karamazov" (Frost / Friedman Productions).
"Windows," (Leon Azul Productions).
"It's Wake Up Time" (Bilal Family Productions).
"The Answer" (Najiullah Productions).
"Indigenous Woman" (Muhayyideen Wisdom Theater Productions).

Dawoud's credits with film scoring include:
"RAM" (One Life Productions. dir. Edwin Porres)
"Sukoon" (dir. Fareen Butt)
"The Life and Times of Omar Khayyam" (dir. Majid Beemtaha)
"One Voice; Our Youth" (dir. Muhammad Stewart)
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way" (Sunshine Star productions)
"Beyond Baklava" (Sunshine Star productions - Dawoud also co-directed two segments of this film)

A sample of the recordings Dawoud played on as a sideman:
"Reconciliation", "Social Drug", and "The World is a Hustle" - Lauryn Hill
"Head Over Heels" - Nona Hendryx
"She Who Bleeds" - Shelley Nichole
"Natural High" - Sena
"Evidence of Things Not Seen" - Marshall Jones
"Burning" - Musa Ricci
"Heartstrings" - Eve Carr
"Breath" - Kena Custage
"African Rain" Jojo Kao
"Interpreter of Desires" - Analoge Fakir
"Ihsan", "Fakir" - Celt Islam Sound System

Radio stations that feature Dawoud's music include:

M3 Radio - New York City, WBAI - New York City, WPAT - New York City, Galaxie Radio Ontario,Canada, WNWK - New York City, WFMU - Jersey City, NJ, All That Jazz Radio - Malaga, Spain, WTUL - Baton Rouge, LA, Radio Voce Spazio - San Michele Italy, RCV 99FM - Lille, France, Radio Novosibrisk - Novosibrisk Russia, Radiopolaze Italio - Milano Italy, 91.7fm WHUS, Storrs, CN Worldbeat on KOOP -FM, Austin TX, and other radio stations throughout the US, Europe, Russia, Poland, and Indonesia.

A large number of internet radio stations are also presenting his music.

Here is a list of a few of the people Dawoud recorded and / or performed with:

Lauryn Hill, Nona Hendryx, Gilmore Gomes (Santana, Meshell Ndegeocello), Abdou Mboup (Pharaoh Saunders, Joe Zawinul, etc.), Marie Alphonzo (Zap Mama), DJ Celt Islam, Ravish Momin, Ustad Muzallim Hussain, Jojo Kao (Fela Kuti), Sayyd Abdul Khabir (Duke Ellington, Count Basie), Rahn Burton (Rahsaan Roland Kirk), Larajji, Junni Booth (Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Elvin Jones,Larry Young), Tony Jones (Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle, etc), Body Temple, Kelvyn Bell (Kelvynator, Lester Bowie, Arthur Blythe, Roland Shannon Jackson), Dean Bowman, Jessie "Cheese" Hameen, Akim Funk Buddha & Dha-Fusion, Steve Swell, Daniel Carter, Sabir Matin, Mansoor Scott (Leon Thomas, Howard Johnson), Shelly Nichole's Blak Bushe, Tonya Ridgely, and many others.



In a nutshell,,,

Dawoud's musical journey began when he picked up a guitar shortly after Jimi Hendrix died; and began sitar on his 18th birthday. After touring the Midwest US with a few rock bands, he moved to New York City in 1983. Since then, Dawoud has played with many groups, toured as a leader in the US, Italy, France, and Switzerland, has experience composing for theater, film, and dance performances, produced several artists, produced his own solo recordings; and has radio airplay in the US, Europe, Russia, and Indonesia.

His music was particularly well received in Europe, and in US cities and venues that cater to progressive music.

In recent years, Dawoud has been concentrating on sitar. While he has studied traditional Indian Raga and Jazz (under former Ravi Shankar student Jeff Slatnik, Kelvyn Bell, Yusef Lateef, Pat Martino, and presently with Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan) he has made a number of innovations. These include application of jazz concepts to sitar, and his use of electronics - much of which is historically unprecedented.

Dawoud's lists of influences are as ambitious as they are eclectic: Jimi Hendrix, Ustad Ravi Shankar, John Coltrane, Ziryab, The Master Musicians of Jajouka, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, Ornette Coleman, Bruce Lee, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Muhayideen Ibn Arabi, Amir Khusro, DJ Cheb i Sabbah, Karsh Kale, Mark Deutsch, Friedrich W. Nietzsche, Max Von Plank, Werner Heisenburg, Miles Davis, Ludwig Van Beethoven.

He also has experience as an audio engineer, music teacher, writer, poet, and actor.

The main things that set Dawoud apart from others are his mastery of using music to take the audience through an experience unlike that of others. People have told Dawoud that his music caused them to go into trances and have visions. His skills with several genres, and unprecedented use of sitar earned him a well deserved reputation as a great musician and master improviser.

Dawoud has the uncanny ability to play exactly the right music at the right time, often without preparation or pre-arranged ideas, and knows how bring the audience on a musical journey.