Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Oud Legend Ramy Adly Comes to Kennedy Center

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Oud Legend Ramy Adly Comes to Kennedy Center

Article excerpt

On Aug. 28, noted oud player Ramy Adly appeared on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage in Washington, DC. The purpose of his performance was "to introduce the West to the oud" and to the beautiful sounds of this 4,000-year-old instrument.

The concert was well attended, with all seats filling up well before the music began. Opening with a solo piece, Adly was gradually joined by his ensemble for the evening, featuring Lubana El Quntar on vocals, Allyn Johnson on piano, Ethan Philion on bass and Stuart Dickenson on percussion.

A highlight was a full ensemble rendition of an old Egyptian song, with El Quntar's vocals mesmerizing the audience while perfectly complementing Adly's intricate style. Adly switched seamlessly between a traditional acoustic oud and a more contemporary electric model depending on the style of song, highlighting the versatility and long history of the instrument.

To showcase the oud for an American audience, Adly even performed a rendition of "Amazing Grace," which while beautiful, felt slightly forced. …

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