Virtuoso Syrian qanun player Maya Youssef has a unique and innovative approach to playing her instrument. Having expanded her audiences to international platforms, she combines her extraordinary musical gifts with a generosity of outlook, warmth, humour and optimism.

Maya has performed all over the world and was the winner of Arts Council England's Exceptional Talent award in 2012 which enabled her to migrate to the UK. She has just released her debut album 'Syrian Dreams' to great acclaim and is a regular on the BBC having featured at the BBC Proms alongside Damon Albarn at The Royal Albert Hall amongst other prestigious venues and festivals.

Read The Guardian review of Syrian Dreams HERE

The Qanun is a traditional Syrian 78 stringed plucked zither. It also exists in other areas of the Arab world including Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan in slightly different forms. The Arabic word 'qanun' translates as 'The Law' as the qanun usually sets the pitch at traditional ensembles and often leads. 

Maya Youssef says of her relationship to music:

“The act of playing music is the opposite of death, it’s a life and hope affirming act. To me, music is my own healer and an antidote to what’s happening, not only in Syria, but in the whole world. I like to think that my music brings people back to humanity and to their heart centres, where no harm can be done to any form of life and where all can exist together in peace”

Maya's trio includes:

Barney Morse-Brown - Cello
An extraordinary musician who has, over the past few years become known for his 'alternative and unique' approach to playing the cello. A long time member of the BBC Folk Award winning band 'The Imagined Village' a previous member of both Chris Woods and Eliza Carthy's band plus one half of 'Duotone' who's recent record received critical acclaim with 5 star reviews from Songlines and Maverick Magazine.

Elizabeth Nott - Percussion
Venezuelan-British musician Elizabeth Nott has developed her technique and understanding through performing with artists such as Karama (Moroccan Jazz), Khyam Allami (Oud/Composer), Amira Kheir (Sudanese singer), Olcay Bayir (Turkish singer), Maya Youssef and many more. She's performed on BBC Radio 1 and 3, Holocaust Memorial 2015 and has worked on numerous theatre and dance projects. 

Doors 7pm, Show 7.30pm

Tickets £15 (£12 concessions) plus booking fee

Concession applies to anyone claiming state benefits including pensions, students, under 18's and those registered disabled. Where a carer is required their ticket is free of charge.

Picture credits  Igor Studio