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Issa Boulos
Throughout his career, Palestinian 'Ud player, bandleader and composer Issa Boulos has been exploring various musical styles from diverse musical traditions. All the sounds that he heard, experienced and internalized eventually became his own and were fused into a unique compositional and performance style. The performance and composition projects that he has carried out in the Chicago area and Palestine include works for plays, dance groups, and ensembles featuring some of the best musicians in Chicago, Greece, France, Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and Palestine. His works have been performed in international and local festivals, including the Chicago World Music Festival and The Jerusalem Festival of Arabic Music and Jazz in Jerusalem, where the Issa Boulos Quartet performed Samar, an intimate musical gathering. Issa's extended work `Hallaj, is a series of composed Sufi poems penetrating the philosophy and tragic ending of Abu Al-mughith Al-husayn Ibn Mansur Al-hallaj. Issa is also an active performer featured in many recordings including: "Volume Two: Songs for Swinging Sophisticates" with Brad Williams; Carlo Basile's "Ida y Vuelta"; and in the latest release of Lingua Musica, "One World, One Language" and the French-Palestinian collborative release of "Il y a un pays... Palestine". He is cofounder of Sama Music, bandleader of al-Sharq Ensemble, the Boulos Ensemble and member in Lingua Musica. Issa also teaches 'ud and Middle Eastern Music courses at the Old Town School of Folk music and researches various aspects of Middle Eastern music.

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