Last night, at the invitation of virtuoso musician Warren Wills, I attended Bird’s Basement to bear witness to the extraordinary ability of multi-award winning Australian/Egyptian, now London based, Joseph Tawadros, in his performance of “The Art of the Oud.”

It is impossible to listen to the beautiful sounds of the oud, played by a true master, without being transported to another land, and ancient times. Its purity touches your very soul and if it’s true that we have lived many lives in our evolution, then perhaps many of have that sound in our DNA.

It is difficult to hold the attention of an audience when it’s just a soloist sitting in a spotlight, hunched over his treasured instrument, and playing his heart out in each perfectly fingered note.

Joseph was born in Cairo and has recorded in New York with U.S. jazz luminaries including John Abercrombie (with whom he toured), Christian McBride, John Patitucci, Jack de Johnette, Mike Stern, and Roy Ayers. He has received 14 ARIA nominations and won 4 of them, including “Best World Music Album.” His recent highlights of a distinguished career include a BBC Proms sold-out concert, a season of his Concerto for Oud with the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House, and a musical sojourn in Cairo, sharing ideas with Eygptian master musicians.

In between musical interludes, Joseph’s quick and spontaneous wit will keep you laughing and involved in a night that summons up all the magic of an ancient crystal-clear Arabian night beneath a thousand stars and the mysterious pyramids.

People often complain that there’s nothing to do in Melbourne. Really? Well, the first thing to do is get over your apathy, get motivated because Life is short, get online and find out what’s happening, and make the effort to go and participate in it. Who knows? You may get addicted to living again.

A good start would be to see Joseph Tawadros at Bird’s Basement (dinner is available) and make a night of it. If you have any interest in music and the healing power of its beauty, go see Joseph. You won’t be disappointed. You have until Saturday 29th. February.

Early show 7.45pm (doors open at 6pm).

Bird’s Basement (a venue I love) is situated in Singers Lane, off LaTrobe Street, near William Street, Melbourne City. Bookings 1300 BBJAZZ. Or


Review by Frank Howson February 26, 2020. joseph tawadros “the art of the oud” review by frank howson.


Share with: