Saleh Al-Kuwaity’s musical legacy is revived as his centenary is celebrated

9 January 2009 - Susannah Tarbush

the London-based Iraqi oud master Ahmed Mukhtar, paid tribute to “the genius of Saleh Al-Kuwaity” who “created new styles of Iraqi maqam music and freed the maqam from its restrictions and mixed some of it with urban music.”

المطرب اسماعيل فاضل
Also screened during the day was a studio discussion of Saleh Al-Kuwaity’s work originally broadcast by the US-sponsored satellite TV channel Al-Hurra. In the program a panel of three experts on Iraqi music, including the conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra Abdul Razzak Al-Azzawi, identified Saleh as the definitive Iraqi composer of the 1930s and 1940s.
Shlomo Al-Kuwaity notes that at the 8th conference of Baghdad University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, held in 2008, Ibrahim al-Jazrawi presented a paper entitled “Saleh Al-Kuwaity and his work in Iraqi music and poetry”. Al-Jazrawi proposed the establishment of a library to preserve all material related to Saleh.
The Al-Kuwaity family is preparing a book on Saleh and Daoud which includes fresh material from sources in countries including the Netherlands, England, Iraq and Kuwait. Like the double CD, the book is likely to become a treasured collector’s item among connoisseurs of Iraqi and Arabic music. – SG
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