Jad Azkoul

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Jad Azkoul (Arabic: جأد عزقول‎) is a teacher and concert classical guitarist who was once the student of Abel Carlevaro, and translated much of his work.

Abel Carlevaro was a classical guitar composer and teacher born in Montevideo, Uruguay. He established a new school of instrumental technique, incorporating a fresh approach to seating and playing the guitar, based on anatomical principles.

Contents

In 1997, Carlevaro declared that Azkoul was his "genuine representative", as well as being a "great master teaching alongside" him. [1]

Azkoul is renowned both as a performer and teacher; he is often invited to give masterclasses in various festivals throughout the world. [2]

Personal life

Azkoul's father is Karim Azkoul, the Lebanese diplomat and philosopher. Azkoul was also the cousin and close friend of fellow Lebanese-American musician, the late Paul Jabara, an esteemed Disco composer.

Dr Karim Azkoul, PhD was a Lebanese diplomat and philosopher born in Rashaya, Lebanon on July 15, 1915. His most notable achievements include his participation in the original writing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Paul Jabara actor, singer, songwriter

Paul Jabara, also known as Paul Frederick Jabara, was an American actor, singer, and songwriter of Lebanese ancestry, born in Brooklyn, New York City. He wrote Donna Summer's Oscar-winning "Last Dance" from Thank God It's Friday (1978) and Barbra Streisand's song "The Main Event/Fight" from The Main Event (1979). He cowrote The Weather Girls hit "It's Raining Men" with Paul Shaffer. Jabara's cousin and close friend Jad Azkoul is also a Lebanese-American musician specialising in classical guitar.

Critical acclaim

Jad Azkoul was awarded the Order of the Cedar, making him a Knight of Lebanon, for his musical contributions to the country.

National Order of the Cedar civil and military decoration of Lebanon

The National Order of the Cedar is the highest state order of Lebanon, established on 31 December 1936. It is offered in five grades.

Knight An award of an honorary title for past or future service with its roots in chivalry in the Middle Ages

A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church, especially in a military capacity.

Lebanon Country in Western Asia

Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent.

Joseph McLellan of the Washington Post had this to say on the subject of Jad Azkoul's guitar-playing:

Joseph Duncan McLellan, known as Joe, (1929-2005) was The Washington Post's music critic for more than three decades as well as a chess and book reviewer.

“Azkoul can make his instrument sing. This is a skill far more important than the ability to whip out thousands of notes per minute accurately and expressively, which he can also do.” [3] [4]

On another occasion, McLellan was quoted as saying:

"The guitar can be many different kinds of instrument, and Azkoul is a master of all its potentials: the raw power of the amplified guitar used in rock (which is how Azkoul began as a boy in his native Lebanon), the delicacies of music composed for the lute, the fire and energy of Flamenco, the rhythmic complexities of Latin American dances and the experimental techniques of modern composers." [5]

Career

Jad Azkoul has been teaching at the Conservatoire Populaire de Musique, Danse et Théàtre (CPMDT) in Geneva since 1984. [6]

Two notable absences were when he lived and taught in Washington DC from 1991 to 1996, and when he was in London on sabbatical leave (2010-2011). Since 2010 he has also been on the music faculty at the London College of Music. He gives regular summer master classes in France at "Musicalta" in Alsace [7] and at the "Musicales de Grillon" in Provence. [8]

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References

  1. Azkoul, Jad. "Carlevaro Endorsement" . Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  2. Sauter, Donald. "Tips from Classical Guitar Master Classes". donaldsauter.com/. Donald Sauter. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  3. Azkoul, Jad. "Washington Post article". Washington Post. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  4. McLellan, Joseph. "Azkoul's Melodious Guitar". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  5. McLellan, Joseph. "A Heartfelt Homecoming". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  6. CPMDT. "espace professeurs". Conservatoire Populaire de Musique, Danse et Théâtre. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  7. Musicalta. "Academy/Teachers". Musicalta.
  8. Musicales de Grillon. "Academies". Musicales de Grillon.