Jerusalem24 – The City of Chicago’s municipality’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, yesterday on Tuesday, awarded Palestinian-American artist Wanees Zarour a 2021 Esteemed Artist Award.
In a social media post on Facebook Zarour wrote, “I am humbled, honored and grateful to be one of the 2021 Esteemed Artist Award recipients from Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.” In the post, he also recognized other artists in the City of Chicago. In that context, he added that “I am in the company of artists who have made a significant impact to Chicago’s arts scene.” He continued, “It is truly humbling to be selected by my peers and my city.”
Wanees was born in Ramallah, Palestine. Training in music from the early age of seven, he began with the violin, then oud, buzuq and percussion. He has performed in several concerts around the world in ensemble as well as solo performances, including the American Public Media’s “A Praire Home Companion,” Chicago’s World Music Festival and the Day of Music at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Zarour has performed with several ensembles including Duzan, and leads the Wanees Zarour Ensemble. His latest album of original compositions, Quarter to Midnight was released on August 2, 2014. Specializing in Maqam music, His compositions often fuse traditional Middle Eastern instrumentation with other genres. These range from free jazz to Eastern European folk, and Latin American Music such as Bossa Nova.
Zarour currently directs the Middle East Music Ensemble at The University of Chicago, which performs a wide variety of traditional and contemporary Middle Eastern music, featuring Arab, Turkish and Persian repertoire. He also taught Maqam Theory and Middle Eastern Rhythm as a faculty member at the Old Town School of Folk Music.