Diaa Bekheet | Washington, DC – Grammy-Award winning violinist Charlie Bisharat is a very popular sessions player in new age and soft jazz circles. The dynamic Palestinian-American composer sometimes blends his new age and jazz with Middle Eastern flavors in an effort to bring different cultures and peoples together. In 2008, he performed with other international artists at “One Night in Jordan: A Concert For Peace,” a musical event held at The Roman Amphitheater in Jordan, where a large Palestinian population lives as citizens or refugees.
Bisharat was born in Inglewood, California in 1963. His Palestinian father, a surgeon, is from Jerusalem and his mother is from the northeastern U.S. state of Pennsylvania. He picked up the violin for the first time when he was four years old, and grew up playing classical music. Bisharat was a member of Shadowfax, a new-age music band formed in Chicago in 1972 by saxophonist Chuck Greenberg, guitarist G.E. Stinson, and bassist Phil Maggini. He won a Grammy with the group in 1988 for Best New Age Performance for Folksongs for a Nuclear Village.
Bisharat’s unique style makes him popular as he gently swings and skillfully interplays with other musicians at concerts. His music covers a wide range of musical traditions, from Middle Eastern to Latin American music.
Charlie Bisharat released sweeping solo album, Along the Amazon, in 1993. Since then, he has become extensively busy performing, recording or touring around the U.S. and the world with numerous great jazz, pop, fusion and new age artists. Among them: Burt Bacharach, Michael Jackson, John Tesh, Yanni, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Jessica Simpson, Mariah Carey, Ricky Martin, Rod Stewart, Shadowfax, just to name a few.
I first heard Bisharat in 1990 on “Twilight At The Zuq” from Strunz and Farah’s album, Primal Magic, and I found it hard to forget. He plays with feeling, heart, and passion. It was amazing to watch him switch between acoustic violin and Japanese percussions on Matzuri Live In America with new age pianist/keyboardist Kitaro.
Bisharat’s violin music can be heard on hundreds of recordings, and in the soundtracks of dozens of Hollywood films and television series, including Swordfish, Titanic, The Drew Carey Show, Austin Powers in Goldmember and Friends. He also wrote a book called Beyond Classical Violin, described as a book/CD pack that offers every violinist the tools and skills necessary to play improvised music.
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