Maya Youssef to perform live at St George's Bristol this monthPosted on: 15 Apr 2022
Hailed as ‘queen of the qanun’ (a 78-stringed Middle Eastern plucked zither), the speaker and composer will be performing new material from her most recent album, Finding Home.
Born in Syria but now based in the UK, Maya Youssef is embarking on an April UK tour that will see her appear in Bristol this month.
Now, backed by a 5-piece band - complete with a grand piano and keyboards in addition to the qanun – and armed with latest single ‘Jasmine Bayati’, Youssef will be playing at St George's on Wednesday 20 April.
Tickets for the show are on sale now and can be found here.
Stream and buy the 'Finding Home' album here:??????? https://t.co/3nC7kybijZ— Maya Youssef (@Mayaqanun) April 6, 2022
Come and see it live: https://t.co/6HnSihGbvX
Performers: Maya Youssef Qanun, Members of Opera North's Orchestra. Thanks to @Opera_North for commissioning this track and supporting the Finding Home album pic.twitter.com/laV8R9mtFo
Rooted in classical Arabic tradition, Youssef’s music is uniquely fierce and introspective, exploring all aspects of human emotion and music’s unique ability to heal. For the artist, the act of playing music is an antidote to the death and destruction across the world.
Youssef draws on jazz, Latin and western classical influences and her latest tour, ‘Finding Home’, will be a deeply personal journey through memory, introspectively looking at the essence of ‘home’.
The April tour is in support of her latest album of the same name. It is a record that comes from a place of comfort and peace with Youssef writing the album during a time of spiritual awakening.
The musician has come to accept the loss of her homeland, a process of grieving that has led Youssef to find a greater sense of spiritual home – this heart-wrenching process was explored at length in her 2018 record, Syrian Dreams.
Youssef has spoken at length about this deeply personal, and deeply emotional, experience thus: "As any Syrian will tell you, there is this overwhelming sense of loss and an overwhelming sense of grief.
"Because the world which existed before the war started, despite it naturally having problems, was a beautiful world with a booming economy, artistic scene, film festivals and visiting international artists, Damascus was the third safest city in the world.
"The loss of that world was heart-wrenching and, in a way, steered me towards a universal concept of home. the main trigger that made me create Syrian Dreams was the Syrian war and the loss of my homeland.
"And it's only by embarking on that spiritual journey of constant meditation and of finding home within God and within myself that I started to feel consolable and started to feel that I have my own home within me.
"I felt that the world is my home and humanity is my home. With my latest album, I want to take people through a transformative journey, where they land in that place of home for them. No matter how that will look like for each person."
Armed with her beautiful qanun (hand-signed by the maker and originally from Aleppo), Youssef’s appearance in Bristol this month sees the artist return to one of Bristol's most atmospheric live venues.
Speaking about the upcoming show, Youssef has said: “I have a fond memory of the space and the vibrant audience from the last time I played at St George’s and can’t wait to play there again.”
As well as Bristol, Maya Youssef will play venues in Sheffield, Leeds, London, Milton Keynes, Essex, London, Cranborne, York, Manchester and Shoreham-by-sea. To find out more information about the tour, and the artist in general, head to her website.
Tickets for Youssef’s show at St George’s on Wednesday 20 April are available now and can be found here.
Stan is a born and bred Bristolian, recently graduated from studying English Literature in Sheffield. His passions are music and literature and spends the majority of his time in venues all over the city immersing himself in Bristol’s alternative music scene. A lifelong Bristol City fan, Stan’s Saturday’s are spent watching his team both home and away.