Hani Naser
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Hani Naser

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Sep
28
Hani Naser @ Lobero Theatre

Santa Barbara, California, USA

Santa Barbara, California, USA

Dec
25
Hani Naser @ Manger Square, Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem, None, Israel

Jerusalem, None, Israel

Apr
22
Hani Naser @ Earth Day Topanga Canyon

Topanga, California, USA

Topanga, California, USA

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Music

Press


"EL RAYO NEXT," by Paul Weideman
Published: April 3, 2009

To multi-instrumentalist David Lindley, Hani Naser's ability to play reggae on Arabic drums explains the relationship the two musicians have shared for almost 20 years. "It's pretty much one of the things I've
been doing for a long time, taking more than one musical culture and putting them together, and he can do that really well," Lindley said.

Lindley, Naser, and John Densmore share the stage [with the Hani Naser Band] at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 4. "I think the first half will [feature] Hani and I," said Densmore, best known as the drummer in the 1960s rock band The Doors. "The second half will be David and maybe also David and Hani or David and both of us. The sky's the limit."

Lindley began his career in the early 1970s playing acoustic and
electric guitar, slide guitar, fiddle, and mandolin on sideman duties with such musicians as Graham Nash, Linda Ronstadt, Maria Muldaur, and John Sebastian, and he had a 10-year stint with Jackson Browne
beginning in 1971.

A native of Southern California, Lindley had his own band, El Rayo X, during the 1980s. He met Naser in 1990, and the pair toured the world
together for six years. Lindley has collaborated with experimental guitarist Henry Kaiser on several albums, including a series of
recordings with musicians in Madagascar.

In a phone interview with Pasatiempo, Lindley talked about the similarities between the music of Japan and Hawaii and about Romanian Gypsy music. He opined that much of what we now call "world music" (with
exceptions like Irish music and the Indian ragas of Ravi Shankar) was virtually unknown until the last two decades.

"There was some stuff around, but it was really obscure and hard to find," he said. "You had the John Edwards Foundation at UCLA and the ethnic record stores in Berkeley. I still have [lots of] vinyl,
including records from pre-Ayatollah Iran with amazing musicians and labels you can't read. Now it's all accessible on the Internet, with oud
forums where you can hear samples and find out what kind of picks and microphones they're using..."

For the Santa Fe gig, Lindley said he will probably have several Hawaiian guitars, at least two electric ouds with different strings and tunings, and perhaps a couple of stringed instruments from the Near East and Eastern Europe: the saz and tamboura...

An oud player and percussionist, Naser was born in Jordan and came to New York as a tot. One of his only memories of Jordan is of his
grandfather reciting poetry as he rhythmically ground coffee beans.

Suddenly, it seems to him now, Naser was growing up in New York City in the '50s, hearing Cuban music and jazz and Bob Dylan and Joan Baez.
Small wonder he would mix genres in his own music, playing in a rock band called Wild as the Wind.

"I'd go home, my parents would be speaking Arabic and my mom would have classical Arabic on, and before I realized it, the rhythms, modes, scales would be just coming out of me when I was
playing in my band."

After he moved to California at 17, Naser went on to make music with Bonnie Raitt, Jim Keltner, Los Lobos, Lou Reed, and Nubian oud virtuoso Hamza el Din, among others. He was featured on "A Wish," El Din's final album.

Naser still likes mixing it up. "World music to me is what music is all about. We've heard the cliché 'no borders,' but it's so true. I never really differentiated between Middle Eastern music, jazz, flamenco, blues, and rock 'n' roll. I had my rock band in New York, but
it was a parallel universe, because I was playing percussion and oud. Then I'd be doing a solo oud concert and someone would ask, 'Didn't I
see you last month in Canada with the Violent Femmes?'(2009)"

Naser, who periodically conducts workshops on "The Healing Powers of Rhythm and Music," said he will play percussion and acoustic and
electric ouds at the Lensic and trade licks with Densmore.

"In the last few years, Hani and I have done several gigs together," Densmore said. "He will accompany me on all the various dumbeks and
percussion instruments he plays so masterfully, and I play a hand drum and do poetry. That's what I'll do at the Lensic, and I accompany him sometimes on a hand drum while he plays oud."

Densmore grew up in Southern California. In his teens, he was really into jazz drummer Elvin Jones. In the early '60s, he joined Rick and the Ravens, a band with keyboardist Ray Manzarek, Manzarek's brothers, and a Florida singer named Jim Morrison. Out of that came The Doors, which had a famous run from the mid-1960s until Morrison's death in 1971.

In the two decades after that, Densmore expanded his interest in jazz, world music, and reggae, and he got into acting and playwriting in Los Angeles. His 1990 autobiography, "Riders on the Storm: My Life With Jim
Morrison and The Doors," was well received. And he recently formed a band called Tribaljazz that gives him th - The Santa Fe New Mexican


"Absolutely stunning, Hani Naser's percussion work is a perfect compliment to David Lindley's multiple stringed instruments."
- Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times

"In a perfect world all concerts would be like David Lindley's and Hani Naser's... extraordinary!!!"
- Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles Times


"Master improvisationalists, Naser and Lindley never give the same show twice...but for 5 years they've sustained one of the finest ongoing jam sessions in the music business."
- Paul Harrar, The Union - The Union


Lindley also thinks he's done some of the best playing of his life with Naser, whose drumming follows Lindley's every nuance, while also prodding him into new musical flights. Those are moments of transcendence for Lindley. "The best times you play are when you don't even remember what you were doing. In a way you can't participate in it, you can't listen to it the way an audience listens to it. I can remember several times when we really got going, me and Hani, when we went into another place. We couldn't believe it, and also couldn't remember it.
That's the good stuff. That's what we try for."
- Jim Washburn, Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles Times


"His musical talent and eclecticism are unwavering."
- Jim Washburn - Jim Washburn


"He's really really good. One of the best there is on these instruments. This guy doesn't play one inflexible thing. He listens to what you're doing and embellishes on that and takes it to different places. We're always throwing things back and forth and seeing what happens. It's not only a little more live, it's a different way of playing. You have to think, see, play, improvise and arrange all at the instant, which is really fun and musically rewarding." - TBA


Discography

Hani Naser
Solo Acoustic Live in Concert (soon to be released)

Hani Naser Band
Live In Concert (soon to be released)

David Lindley & Hani Naser
"Live In Tokyo Playing Real Good" (chosen by "Guitar Player" magazine as one of the top 100 albums of the last decade).

David Lindley & Hani Naser
"Live All Over The Place Playing Even Better"

Violent Femmes "Archive series no. 2 - Live in Chicago Q101"

Hamza El Din "A Wish"

Kazu Matsui "Wheels Of The Sun"

Hani Naser :Live in Concert
Fall 2011 release

Hani Naser Band: Live in Concert
Fall 2011 release

" Seeds Of Peace" CD-ROM
Hani produced / composed and performed the music with David Broza. This project has won many awards in the CD-ROM industry equal to the Grammys.

Star Jasmine Benefit CD ( Jackson Browne, Steve Winwood, Dave Mason, Van Morrison)

Hani Naser's "Power Spot Concert Series"
(in production)

Reflections Ago - Film Score (soon to be released)

Photos

Bio

The Hani Naser Band plays an "in the now" kind of music. These musicians from different parts of the world mix their roots with original rhythms and melodies. Masters of improvisation, their jams are full of folklore, and listeners are taken on a journey with their "in-the-moment" musical compositions. This is a genre-transcending band, and these gifted and adventurous artists push each other past musical boundaries to a place that is rarely visited.

Multi-talented HANI NASER is a virtuoso percussionist and Oud player. Considered a master in his field, Naser inspired Randy Lewis of the Los Angeles Times to call him a “Veritable Musical Wizard”. The breadth of Naser's talent has earned him the opportunity to perform and record with many of the most influential artists of this era.
His impressive list of worldwide credits include: Nicky Hopkins (Rolling Stones), Jackson Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder, Jim Keltner (John Lennon's drummer), Steve Miller, Los Lobos, The Violent Femmes, Don Henley, Hamza El Din, Kazu Matsui, Jennifer Warnes, David Broza, Paco De Lucia, Santana, Brian Ritchie of The Violent Femmes, Tony Trischka, Bella Fleck, Fayrouz, Samira Tofeek, Said Makawi, Leftover Salmon, Quicksilver Messenger Service, John Hyatt, Warren Zevon, Ruben Blades, Lou Reed, Blind Boys of Alabama, John Densmore of the Doors,Bill Kreutzmann of The Grateful Dead, Papa Mali, Matt Hubbard, George Porter Jr. 7 Walkers, David Lindley, and many other great musicians.

Naser is at home in a multitude of musical styles and has a well-deserved reputation as an expert improviser and prolific songwriter. As a child in the hills above Jordan, Hani remembers many mornings listening to his grandfather, the village poet, recite poetry while grinding fresh roasted coffee with a stick in a gourd-like pot. Accompanied by the rhythmic crunching of the beans, his stories and songs provided a rich beginning for Naser's musical path. This unique influence is the source of Hani’s eclectic drumming and Oud playing style.

Nowhere is this better revealed than in his recent collaborations with rock legend David Lindley. During the duo’s seven years of touring the world, they produced what Paul Harrar of The Union calls, “One of the finest jam sessions in the music business.” Reviewing a concert featuring David Lindley and Hani Naser, Los Angeles Times music critic Randy Lewis writes: “David and Hani make a convincing case for the essence of musical forms and in the process they have produced an enduring testament to the timeless flexibility and resonance of the Middle Eastern, Flamenco, Rock ’n’ Roll, Jazz, and Blues forms.”

Their album "Live in Tokyo" was chosen by "Guitar Player" magazine as one of the top 100 albums of the last decade. Naser was featured on Hamza El Din's latest album, "A Wish," which topped the World Music charts.

For Hani, music doesn't have a perspective or an opinion, it doesn’t allow for that. Music only allows for the moment.

Throughout his life Hani has had a holistic sense of musical experience and the need to communicate that on a global level. He recently toured the war-torn Middle East with Israeli singer-songwriter David Broza to promote peace through music, a mission very close to Hani's heart. They were invited by the Israeli and Jordanian governments to perform in concert during the peace-signing between the two countries.

Hani has also led intensive workshops entitled "The Healing Powers of Rhythm and Music."

Naser’s lifelong exploration of the spiritual dimensions of music has led him to the realization that “Every instrument has its own voice.” Going deeper into the mysteries of music, he continues, “There is a universal rhythm that I am constantly trying to be in touch with. We are vibrations. Sometimes vibrations get out of sync. Music, I have found, brings back that balance.” Hani Naser continues to lead these workshops at Esalen and other institutions, and has formed The Hani Naser Band with Walfredo Reyes Jr., Armand Sabal-Lecco, Craig Eastman, Marc Mann, and Richard Hardy.

CRAIG EASTMAN (U.S.A.): violin, slide, guitars, mandolin and instruments from around the world.
Craig has been playing the fiddle since he was a young boy of 6 years old. He is now a producer and an accomplished musician - playing not only the fiddle but violin, lap steel, mandolin, dobro, and organ (among other instruments). He has worked with composer Hans Zimmer in scoring recent soundtracks, such as Pearl Harbor and Blackhawk Down, and many others. Craig Has recorded with many fine musicians including Ray Charles and Jennifer Warnes.

ARMAND SABAL-LECCO (Cameroon): bass and vocals.
.Has performed with: Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Sir George Martin, Seal, Herbie Hancock, Christina Aguilera, Jeff Beck, Carole King, Brian Wilson, Ray Charles, Ringo Starr, Celine Dion and Stanley Clarke.

WALFREDO REYES JR. (Cuba): drums and percussion.
Born in Cuba, raised in Puerto Rico. has perfor