Joseph Tawadros

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Tunes by Joseph Tawadros

  • Cafe Riche
    Straight · 2010-2020 · Medium · Instrumental · C · 4/4
  • Gypo Blues
    Funk · 2010-2020 · Medium · Instrumental · C · 4/4
  • Forbidden Fruit
    Straight · 2010-2020 · Medium · Instrumental · C · 6/8
  • Freo
    Funk · 2010-2020 · Medium · Instrumental · D · 4/4
  • Give Or Take
    Straight · 2010-2020 · Medium · Instrumental · A · 6/8


Joseph Tawadros was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1983. Immigrating to Australia in 1986, he brought with him a musical tradition inherited from his maternal grandfather, Mansi Habib (1920-1957), an active composer and an oud and violin virtuoso in Cairo. Joseph’s uncle, Yacoub Mansi Habib, is an active professional Egyptian musician and recognised as one of the pioneering figures in Egyptian trumpet playing, also influenced his musical interest immensely. Joseph was encouraged to explore the musical parameters of the oud and the traditional Egyptian taqasim, a performing style akin to improvisation. This, combined with tremendous talent, has resulted in Tawadros’ personal style being uniquely instinctive in his music's improvised content.

In December 2001, Joseph returned to Egypt and began studying the Egyptian violin with the celebrated Egyptian violinist, Esawi Daghir. Daghir was so impressed by his talent that he decided to teach him pro bono and has taken special care with Joseph’s Egyptian violin education. Joseph also plays other Arabic traditional instruments including Nay (bamboo flute), Qanun (Arabic Zither) and Cello.

Joseph has toured extensively in Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East and has performed at some of the world’s most prestigious venues with artists such as tabla master Zakir Hussain, sarangi master Sultan Khan, John Abercrombie, John Patitucci, Jack DeJohnette, James Tawadros, Camerata Salzburg, Richard Tognetti and The Australian Chamber Orchestra, Mali band Tinariwen, Slava Grigoryan, Leonard Grigoryan, Adel Salameh, Fathi Salama, Christian Lindberg, Neil Finn, Mark Isaacs, William Barton, Lior, The Song Company, Riley Lee, Karen Schaupp, Bobby Singh, Katie Noonan, James Crabb, amongst many others.

In May 2006 Joseph graduated with a Bachelor of music with Honours from the University of NSW with a pioneering analysis on advanced techniques and applications in oud playing. In the same year Joseph was the youngest recipient of the very prestigious Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music- chosen from amongst Australia’s finest Classical musicians.

Joseph has released 7 albums to date - Storyteller (ABC Classics - 2004) - ARIA award for the Best World Music album. Rouhani (ABC Classics -2005). Visions (JT2006). Epiphany (JT2007) and Angel (JT2008) which both were all nominated for an ARIA award for Best World Music Album in their respective years. 2009 saw the release of his solo oud album The Prophet - Music inspired by the poetry of Kahlil Gibran (JT 2009). His latest offering The Hour of Separation, (JT 2010/ENJA Records) collaborating with legendary jazz luminaries John Abercrombie, John Patitucci and Jack DeJohnette recorded in New York at Avatar studios.

Joseph has also composed for film and theatre, most notably the documentaries The last days of Yasser Arafat, Haneen, I Remember 1948 and play The Gates of Egypt. Joseph also features on the Australian Feature film the Last ride, The Black Balloon and TV series East West 101. He has also completed compositions for animations with artist Michael Roseth.

Joseph performs on a Joseph Tawadros Signature Series II Oud made by Veysel Sarikus of Istanbul.



“And now again something quite new. Or if we say, quite new in the old person. Absolutely he does not know reservations, and this was the happy condition also for a daring jump in the world of the jazz. His assistants with the jump were the guitarist John Abercrombie, the bassist John Patitucci and in the percussion a man whom one would have barely expected in such context, actually – Jack DeJohnette.” “One must hear only the piece Nostalgia in D “ and perceive the gentleness with which Joseph and his American string colleague Abercrombie handle with each other to be forced around dragged, in this world of the absolutely unusual meetings against all fears of cultural wars.” “It is just this tenderness which is characteristic for the whole album in which in four pieces with him and not with James Tawadros on the Req', even the drum thunderstorms of a drummer of the stature of a Jack DeJohnette become gentle whispering, almost to whispering. The Oud makes it possible, and one can absolutely mean, the Arabian sounds without alliance is actual on the triumphal procession in the middle in the heart of European and American music traditions without bending a German even.” “This Egyptian Oudist is a master of his field. He uses the advantages of his instrument for intercultural coalescences, speak: instrumental, completely making happy dialogs on the west-eastern divan. Joseph Tawadros takes not the west to the hand to show him the east, but places on meetings, so to speak, on half a way.” “Joseph Tawadros takes not the west to the hand to show him the east, but places on meetings, so to speak, on half a way.” “Time creates the music again what does not bring the oh so ‘big’ policy probably still in hundred years. For next UN assembly would offer this CD exactly the right soundtracks against the faint of the appeals and the power of the empty litanies.”
- Agaz-Smitz, Germany. November 2010
“One of the greatest virtuosos of this world stringed instrument, the lute family, is really an Egyptian, Joseph Tawadros. He is not only a great virtuoso oud, but also a composer who constantly explores the expressive limits of his instrument.” “The hour of separation, produced by Enja Records, is a masterpiece, where both the versatility of the composer and his ability as instrumentalist stand out.” “But it is equally true that the artist, through his virtuosity and creativity, has managed to learn his instrument in Australia and in the Western world in general. By making the oud instrument almost "normal", to play music that has little to do with the Egyptian tradition. A music that spreads in waves and not just the sound but also and especially of the sea. What arouses memories, causing emotions, which takes and carries on a beach to watch the continuous movement of water.”
- IL SOL 24 ORE, Italy. November 2010
“In sleep and wakefulness, the music holds her hand protectively over the stationary world. When there are great artists such as Joseph Tawadros served, exceeding the sharp dividing line between East and West, he creates an incredibly intense sound with a structure which abolishes the distance between jazz and oriental music.”
- Westzeit, Germany. November 2010