Jazz it up: Arab musicians bring their songs to Germany

By The Canadian Press
November 15, 2017 - 4:30am

BERLIN — Arab musicians in Berlin are bringing their musical roots to Germans — with a little help from American jazz.

At the monthly Arab Song Jam in the German capital, musicians use famous Arab songs as a starting point before inviting other musicians onto the stage for a jam session in a style pioneered by American jazz musicians before World War II.

"All musicians know these jazz sessions. So we use that technique on Arab songs," said Moroccan musician Alaa Zouiten, who plays the oud, a kind of lute, and who led a recent session. "It is a great idea because it brings popular Arab songs to life here in Berlin."

Berlin's already large Arab community has grown since 2015 with the arrival of tens of thousands of refugees from Syria.

Jona Kallgren, The Associated Press

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