Nizar Al-Issa is a Palestinian singer and virtuoso ‘Oud (Arabic lute) player.


His voice exhibits an extraordinary range and control. He draws on traditional middle eastern music but is not afraid to upset the purists by mixing things up a little – a habit he puts down to his refugee background. He has recently collaborated with jazz saxophonist Gilad Atzmon and his performances have taken him around the world. His roots are in Ramallah but in his influences and attitudes he crosses borders.


“Iraqis ask me if I’m from Iraq, while the Egyptians are convinced I am from Cairo, and in Spain they’re sure that I’ve spent time learning gypsy Flamenco… but the heart and soul of my music is the knowledge that we all share far more in common as human beings than we acknowledge, wherever we come from.”


Nizar is an artist who likes to keep his ears open. “From a really early age I was listening to the sounds all around me from the great Arabic singers to the local guys at weddings and parties, even the fishermen and farmers…everything I heard went in somewhere!


5 Responses to “Nizar Al-Issa, ‘Oud player”

  1. Dear Nizar,

    I am from a charity organisation looking to host a volunteer thank you dinner on 28th march 09

    I’m interested in having you for the event. I would really appreciate if you can get back to me.

    Lana Nanakalei

  2. In addition to my last message, I had the privaledge to see ur performance in the play ‘Go to Gaza’ and I thought you were fantastic. I work for Islamic Relief who are the leading charity in helping Palestine during this war and we are holding this event to congratulate the staff and volunteers on their hard work throughout this campaign…I would like you to come and hopefully perform some of your music as it will be perfect for the event.

    thank you for your time,


  3. Frances Says:

    Hi Nizar,

    I’m a theatre director and am part of a group looking to stage a reading of “Bassam” by Idan Meir as part of a fund raising project to bring Bassam Aramin to study in the UK. We need a Palestinian actor to read this monologue which will be staged for a limited number of times. Expenses will be covered for the performer. The longer term objective is to get the piece put on at a significant theatre – Royal Court, Tricycle. I wonder if you’d be prepared to take a look at the script. I’m aware that you are primarily a musician/singer; however, I was moved and impressed by your performance in “Go to Gaza…” If you are not available, do you know of any other actors who might be suitable? They would need to play the age of 42. 07939 164626

  4. […] of the rubble and plays what appears to be a lute singing a beautiful song in Arabic. This man is Nizar Al-Issa, Palestinian singer and virtuoso ‘Oud […]

  5. Alan Southgate Says:

    Dear Nizar,

    We’re organising a celebration of Palestinian culture culminating in a festival in the historical Piece Hall in Halifax on July 10th 2010. We’d very much like to be involved on that day (or in a concert during the preceding week). Would you be available?

    Alan Southgate (Halifax Friends of Palestine)

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