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Arts Canteen In Conversation - Attab Haddad

Date(s) - 08/07/2020
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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Arts Canteen

Date And Time

Fri, 7 August 2020

13:00 – 14:30 EDT

About this Event

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Welcome to the second episode of “Arts Canteen In Conversation”, our new series with a simple but fulfilling mission: to bring more inspiring stories, deep-dive conversations, and insights into the life from the greatest minds and most passionate enthusiasts in our community. The conversations will focus on topics concerning the global contemporary art scene with guests of local and international artists, gallerists, curators, architects, filmmakers, musicians, critics, and many other cultural figures. In a rare chance to hear from the most and learn about their creative process. “Arts Canteen in conversation,” a series of talks on the intersection of art and cultural issues, will premiere next month as online with a conversation between Iraqi British musician, composer Attab Haddad (Attab Haddad Quintet ) and lead by Aser El Saqqa , founder and managing director of Arts Canteen, London.


Haddad holds a degree in Business Management, a diploma in Sound Engineering as well as a Master’s degree with Distinction in Music Performance. He studied the oud with Ahmed Mukhtar in London, with Nihad El-Sayed and virtuoso Naseer Shamma at the Arab Oud House in Cairo, and more recently with the renowned Turkish master Yurdal Tokcan in Istanbul. He has collaborated with many artists in many genres (Juan Martin, Cerys Matthews, Max Baillie, John Metcalfe, Eugene Skeef, Clara Sanabras, Ramon Ruiz, Sabina Rakcheyeva and many others) as co-composer, producer, musician and session player and featured as a guest on various albums.

Haddad’s work has featured on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 6, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Arabic Service, SOAS Radio and Resonance FM as well as on various Middle Eastern TV Channels and he has performed in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Middle East, and India to much acclaim. He was the subject of an hour-long documentary on Arabic TV Channel AL-Fayhaa that highlighted his innovative new approach to the oud.

He founded the Attab Haddad Ensemble which plays his own compositions drawing on Middle Eastern music, Flamenco, Jazz, and contemporary composed music creating a sound that is unique to the band. The ensemble plays original compositions by Haddad and use their varying influences to create a sound that is unique to the band. They gig in different formations of the group from duets to the full ensemble.

Most recently, he has been involved with NW Live in a cross-cultural collaborative project that brings together music from Europe, the Middle East, and West Africa through accomplished musicians from those regions; and was about to start touring with the early music group Lux Musicae until the COVID pandemic postponed the project.

Aside of his performances, Haddad has worked within the spheres of dance, television, and film. Haddad’s film and TV credits include Sir Paul Gladstone-Reid’s music for Isaac Julien’s Phantom Creole, numerous collaborations with TV composer David Lowe, James Newton Howard’s music for Ed Zwick’s film, Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Jennifer Connelly, Tulip Fever starring Dame Judi Dench and Keira Knightley, award-winning independent films such as Theeb (Best Director Venice Film Festival 2014) and Gholam (Best First Feature WorldFest International Film Festival, Houston 2017) as well as numerous documentaries and TV programs. He has also composed extensively for children’s theatre and has written music for several plays in the UK.

He continues to work as a composer for adverts and corporate ad campaigns including extensive branding work for the BBC Arabic Service, BBC World Service, Pampers, Mubadallah, and others.

Attab resides in London where he also teaches the oud.

‘..A Virtuoso..’ Neil Spencer, The Guardian


We hope our guests inspire you as much as they’ve inspired us, and we look forward to your feedback and suggestions for who and what you would like us to feature in future episodes of “Arts Canteen in Conversation”.

The event is produced by Arts Canteen and supported by Arts Council England.

Free, RSVP required

Image: Courtesy of Stephanie Claire Photography

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