Meet The Orchestra

Violin (Kamanjah):

Mohammed Tahboub, Daniel Moltke, Ceren Turkmenoglu, Bengisu Gokce, Megumi Saruhashi, Akram Abdelfattah, Dr. Samer Ali, Layth Sidiq, Eylem Basaldi, Katherine Van Dusen, Dena ElSaffar, Adel Eskander, Megan Gould, Laura Harada, Jumanah Hassan, Marandi Hostetter, Emad Ibrahim, Qusay Abdel Jabbar, Insia Malik, Hasan Minawi, Roberto Riggio, Andrea Vercoe, Sachiyo Yoshimoto

Oud (Arab Lute):

Thaer Bader, Hadi Eldebek, Nashwan Fadel, Victor Ghannam, Michael Ibrahim

Electric Guitar:

Alan Azar, Edward Gedeon


Peter Abadier, Naseem Alatrash, Mohannad Al Zahabi, George Crotty, Khaled Khalifa

Synthesizer (Keyboard):

Mohamed Araki, Fransis Batayeh, Zaher Darghali, Haitham Zbib


Chadi Saad.

Double Bass:

Jonathan Hammonds, Margaret Hasspacher, Christopher Steven Rose, John Murchison


Percussion (Iqa’):

Ali Abdallah, Mark Assaf, Gilbert Mansour, Roger Kashou, Adam Maalouf, Karim Nagi, Ryan Paul Gates, Tareq Rantisi, Dr. Gursharan Singh Sandhu, Edy Fadel

Nay (Arab Reed Flute):

Michael Ibrahim, Naef Rafeh.

Qanun (Arab Harp):

Toni Barhoum, Victor Ghannam, Jamal Sinno, Firas Zreik, James Grippo

More about the orchestra:

National Arab Orchestra

Founded in 2009 by Michael Ibrahim, the National Arab Orchestra was originally a takht; a small chamber music group comprised of ‘oud (Arab lute), qanun (Arab harp), violin, nay (Arab reed flute), and riqq (Arab tambourine). Since then, the ensemble has grown to become an orchestra under the leadership of its founder and music director, Michael Ibrahim. The NAO is comprised of musicians of both Arab and non-Arab backgrounds who are either students or professional musicians in the community.

NAO Takht Ensemble

The National Arab Orchestra Takht Ensemble (NAOTE) was founded in 2010 as the NAO’s premiere traditional ensemble performing some of Arab music’s finest classical repertoire. This ensemble is comprised of instruments such as: ‘oud´ (Arab lute), qanun (Arab zither), nay (Arab reed flute), violin, riqq (Arab tambourine), table (Arab goblet drum), and bass. The NAOTE performs classical and contemporary Arab music otherwise known as tarab music. Tarab music is characterized by its melodic modes known as maqamat (sing. maqam) and complex rhythmic modes (iqa’at). It is also distinguished by the art of improvisation, or taqasim, during which a musician outlines a melodic mode and/or modulates to other related modes. The audience plays an extremely important role in tarab music, since listeners (sami’ah) will often respond with applause during and after a musician’s improvised solos.