MESTO: Hear'n Now
The Downey Civic Theatre, Feb. 22, 2014
Nabil Azzam, music director/conductor
Karima Skalli, guest artists (Morocco)
Nasser El-Mezdawi, guest of honor (Libya)
Samba al-Qahira, Muhammad 'Abd al-Wahhab; Tutah,
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, W.A. Mozart; El-Mallah, Nabil
Azzam; Intal Hobb, M.A.al-Wahhab
Amal Hayati, M.A.al-Wahhab; Nour El-'Ain, Nasser
Violin suite in A Nahawand "Mutlaq", Nabil
Azzam; Naseem al-Rih, Marcel Khalifa;
Ana Albi Dalili, Muhammad al-Qasabji; Is'al Alayyah,
Bayni w-Baynak, Elias Rahbani; Nassam 'Alayna,
(Photos curtesy of Jay Calis)
Azzam conducts MESTO@ Downey Civic Theatre
Karima Skalli, the stunning and enchanting voice--great chemistry
Composer and performer Mr. Nasser El-Mezdawi moved the audience
with his HIT Nour El-'Ain
Azzam on his world premiere of El-Mallah for orchestra
Azzam performs his violin suite in A Nahawand "Mutlaq"
Our wonderful concert, October 5th 2013 at
the Downey Civic Theatre
The program included Arab music, Spanish, Taiwanese and African...
A true celebration of multi-ethnic music program (see sponsorship
MESTO under Maestro Azzam at the Downey
Civic Theatre (photos courtesy of Mrs. Amani
Star singer HAMID sings Bitlumuni Laih
and Safini Marrah
Star singer Amal al-Refaie sings Fi
ADAAWE singers Phylliss Baily Brooks,
Monique Afenjar, Bridget Graham, Joselyn Wilkinson
and on the drums Dez Glover and Anindo Marshall (to the right
of the stage) playing along with the MESTO
percussion section (far left, Ava Nahas, back left Christopher
Payne, front T.J. Troy and right David Martinelli)
Photo by Samer Saba
Star singer Amal al-Refaie
This concert is sponsored by
individuals and organizations:
Drs. Hala, Hedab Al-Tarifi; Dr. Raymond Jallow;
Drs. Shawky and Fikria Hassan (Michigan)
Mr. & Mrs. Karim & Lily Karam: Dr. & Mrs. Nabil
And endorced by the following organizations: Los Angeles-Beirut
Sister City Committee
Jordanian American Association of Southern California; House
of Egypt; Egypt Cancer Network
PAWA; US-OMEN; Birzeit Society
Turath; AL-Awda; Arab-American Friends of Nazareth; Bethlehem
Society; PCRF; NAAPOC
M E S T OThe
Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman
February 7, 2012
MESTO under conductor Azzam
Guest star singer Dalal Abu Amneh of Nazareth...enchanting
singer and inspired conductor! she simply stunned her audience
both local Omanis and guests
Qanun virtuoso Lilit Khojayan shines in performing Jasmine
composed by Maestro Azzam
Azzam performs Unshudat al-Fann by M. 'Abd al-Wahhab. Principle
cellist Lisa Belding conducted the intro
His Excellency the American Ambassador to Oman Dr. Richard
Schmierer and his wife Sandy, Azzam, Dalal,
His Excellency Mr. Nasr Bin Hamood al-Kindy VP Board of Directors
the Royal Opera House in Muscat,
His Excellency Muhammad al-Zubeir, advisor for economic development
of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos.
Azzam is greeted by Dr. Issam El-Mallah, Advisor and Director
of music programs at ROHM
MORE TO COME SOON
The invitation sent out by the Art and Culture Organization
and the Greek Orthodox Parish Councel in the city of Nazareth
in recognition of the work and contribution of Maestro Azzam.
Feb. 22, 2012
at the community center of the Annunciation Church next to
Over 500 people attended this event that included music, memories,
ballet dance, poetry dedicated to
Azzam and a painting created on the stage...Mr. Nazir Mgally,
journalist and a close friend of Azzam "conducted"
Friend of Azzam, Mr. Ramez Jaraysi, the mayor of Nazareth
shared some memories and Ms. Odette Shomar wrote a nostalgic
piece that covered those days at the neighborhood and other
family ties to Azzam's parents
some memories are truely emotional and some concerns Mr. Mahmoud
Shawahdi's personal observation! also funny
Ms. Katy Jarjoura, a choir conductor and music therapist brings
up her use of MESTO's music.
She also read a message from the Board of Director of Arab-American
Friends of Nazareth
where Azzam is an active member in Los Angeles.
The talented singer Dalal Abu Amneh performed her song "Amman"
also composed by Azzam.
This original song was premiered at the Jerash Festival in
Brother of Azzam, Dr. and Mrs. Halim Azzam and sisters Nai'la,
Nabila and Nahida
Young ballerina Nadira Libbis dances to Azzam's violin. Original
painting by artist
Ms. Cicil Kahleh was inpired by the different program components
live on the stage. Title of paiting is yet to be named...
Singer Dalal Abu Amneh presents a special recognition to Maestro
Azzam for their long collaboration.
Dr. Azmi Hakim, chairman of the Greek Orthodox parish councel
presents the placque of high artistic excellence to Azzam.
Jounslist Nazir Mgalli (middle) addresses the attendees.
Alhan Achkar-Hillo and Nahawand Achkar daughter and son of
the late Maroun Achkar first violin teacher of Azzam
Poet Tamim Asadi presents a dedicatory poem to Azzam.
His performance sparked the audience while Azzam's school
Mr. Yousef Zaher shared his memory of Azzam while in 6th grade
playing the violin
Azzam was also recognized by a special group of intellectuals
who meet on
Wednesdays afternoon to discuss current social and artistic
On Feb. 29 Azzam attended their meeting and received their
recognition singed on behalf the group by Nabil Hayek, Esq.
(Left) The parish council of the Orthodox church; The Arts
and Culture committee and the
Orthodox Family Club awarded Azzam their prestigous plaque.
Singer Dalal Abu Amneh-Abbasi and Dr. Anan Abbasi presented
Azzam a very special plaque
as a token of appreciation to MESTO and his leading role in
the field of music.
(right) "Azzam, an ambassador of oriental music to the
West" Hadith al-Nas newspaper (Nazareth)
MESTO had two wonderful and successful concerts.
The Broad Stage on Friday, Dec. 3rd and in San Diego on Sunday,
Thank you our supportive and dedicated audience. We love you
and will continue to provide you with high level music and
MESTO would like to thank our guest artists for their participation:
Jimbo Ross; Yvette Holzwarth; Suhail Bachour; Anna-Suzette
Eblen; Prof. Joanna Medawar-Nachef;
Dr. Irene Behnan and the Coptic Orthodox Choir; Ms. Hanna
Muluneh and the Ethiopian Tewahedo Church Choir.
Jimbo Ross happily opens the concert with Have Yourself
a Merry Little Christmas
followed by Violinist/singer Yvette Holzwarth who sang I'll
be home for Christmas
and The Christmas Song (all arr.
by John Graves)
Professor Joanna Medawar Nachef, soprano, sang Silent Night
and Ikhtaliti, a Lebanese tune
(both in Arabic)
while maestro Azzam performed his violin copmosition The
Sheikh Dr. Saleh Kholaki recites from the glorious Qur'an.
Dr. Raymond Jallow welcomes the audience on behalf of Friends
Syrian-born singer and cantor Suhail Bachour with three eastern
hymns accompanie by MESTO (arr. Azzam)
Soprano Anna-Suzette Eblen with The Prayer (arr. J. Graves)
and Christmas Medley (arr. Shelly Cohen)
The Coptic Orthodox Choir of St, Peter and St. Paul in Santa
Monica under the direction of Dr. Irene Behnan
with two songs: Shere ne Maria
(accompanied by Fahd
Shaaban, 'ud) and Eparthenos
(arr. N. Azzam)
The Ethiopian Tewahedo Church Choir of Los Angeles performed
with MESTO two songs:
and Elil Bey Bethelehem
has received so many phone calls,
messages and e-mails from members of the audience praizing
Thank you all for your unprecedented support for both concerts
at the Broad Stage and the Musuem of Contemporary Art in La
The La Jolla concert: Photos to follow...
Our gurest artists, bassoonist Charlie Gould was received
in a great welcome and our guest singer Ms. Karima Skalli
electrified the audience.
Music director and conductor Azzam shined as always. He introduced
some of the pieces and the guest artists. More details later...
One of our sponsors wrote:
The annual Christamas concert: Los Angeles has never heard
such a variety of music!
San Diego concert: Well, let's put it this way...Not even
Arab orchestras perform at that level!
Thank you MESTO and Maestro Azzam who brought a high-class
performance to San Diego.
of presenting Christmas music! It's MESTO style
"When music plays a social role and brings people together"
The Annual Christmas Concert
Friday, December 3, 2010 @ 7:30 pm.
Under the baton of maestro Nabil Azzam, music director
Program includes an unprecedented and unaccompanied
Recitation from the
glorious Qur'an by
Sheikh Dr. Saleh Kholaki
A special performances by choir members of the
Ethiopian Orthodox Church
And choir members of the
Egyptian Coptic Church
St. Peter and St. Paul, Santa Monica
with guest artists
Dr. Joanna Medawar Nachef
Joanna Medawar Nachef
For the first time at the new and prestigious concert hall
The Broad Stage
Performing Arts Center, Santa Monica College
1310 11th street, Santa Monica CA, 90401
your tickets now!
Sponsors $100 (front seats) $75 and $50
Call (310) 795-4280
The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica
Program also includes: Eternal River, Scheherazade, As'aluka
ar-Rahila, Maribel, Watlz of the flowers, Trepak, The Crescent
MESTO back in San Diego
Hosted and organized by Friends of MESTO
Sunday, December 5, 2010 @7:00 pm
Museum of contemporary Arts, San Diego
700 Prospect St. La Jolla, CA 92037
Guest Star Singer
Performing songs of Asmahan, Umm Kulthum, 'Abd al-Wahhab
Sayyid Darwish and Farid el-Atrache
For tickets call;
(619) 840-1945 Mr. Ibrahim Dayeh
(619) 549--4110 Mr. Tayseer Odeh
(619) 227-1181 Mr. Victor Khouri
(310) 795-4280 MESTO tickets line
Sponsors $100; 75 and $50
to Abu Dhabi 2010
MESTO was invited by the Abu Dhabi Authority of Culture and
to perform in the Sounds of Arabia Festival
on May 13th at the Abu Dhabi Theater.
Under the baton of music director maestro Nabil Azzam
MESTO performed a series of Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab masterpieces
including al-Nahr al-Khalid (Eternal River)
, Andah Alaik
, Kallimuni Tani
, and Unshudat
In addition, MESTO entertained their audiences with other MESTO
favorites like Muhammad Abdu's Leila Leila
by Farid al-Atrash
, and The Leopard
an original composition by Nabil Azzam
The concert included three vocal pieces Ya Habibi Ta'ala
La' Mush Ana
, and Inta 'Umri
featuring the golden
voice of guest artist Karima Skalli
MESTO conducted by Nabil Azzam at Abu Dhabi Theater
MESTO featuring Karima Skalli
MESTO in front of Emirates Palace (Abu Dhabi's 7-Star Hotel)
Coming soon! MESTO's new CDFull Mooon
selection of world music
Nabil Azzam met with master musician Mikis Theodorakis at his
residence in Athens. Mr. Theodorakis is holding a special baton
that Nabil presented to him. It's made out of olive wood from
Nazareth especially made for him. Mr. Theodorakis promised to
compose a new piece for MESTO to be premiered this year!
Nabil Azzam at the Sheikh Zayid Mosque in Abu Dhabi and a kind
invitation to the Presidential Palace
The Honorable Mr. Zaki Nusseibeh in his office at the Presidential
Palace in Abu Dhabi. Advisor of Ministry of Presidential Affairs;
Vice Chairman, Abu Dhabi Authority of Culture and Heritage.
With Mrs. Noura Joumblat, President of Beiteddine Festival, Lebanon.
Nabil Azzam with his friend star singer Tony Hanna
and his band.
With composer/arranger and poet Mr. Elias Rahbani
an invitation to hear the new musical Eela
start singer Abeer Nehmeh. Jan. 30, 2010
Amazing Stars of MESTO, October 25, 2009
Zipper Hall, Los Angeles
Nabil Azzam, music director, conductor
Guest artist: Karima Skalli (Morocco)
Charlie Gould, bassoon
Lilit Khojayan, qanun
Star singer Karima Skalli
Nabil Azzam conducts MESTO
Lilit Khojayan performed Carnival of Venice by Paganini
Lilit Khojayan, qanun vistuoso and Charlie Gould is so loved by
the audience> Charlie performed two Arab songs specially arranged
for bassoon and orchestra by Nabil Azzam
The Composer's Award is presented to Mr. Shelly Cohen in recognition
to his numerous arrangements for MESTO for almost ten years. Salute!
Our great wind section: Laura Halladay, Armen Khatchatryan, Mandy
Fey-Carota, Tom Jones and Marzena Nabours (while Charlie Gould
performed his solo
Group photo: Mr. Sami Asmar, Nabil Azzam, Dr. Jihad Racy, Karima
Skalli, Dr. Barbara Racy and Dr. Munir Beken
October 17, 2009
MESTO at the Max Fisher Concert Hall in Detroit as part of the
6th Annual Gala
Arab-American National Museum (Dearborn)
Karima Skalli "The Golden Voice" shines in front of
The first half was dedicated to instrumental compositions of Abd
al-Wahhab, Farid El-Atrache, Rahbani Bros. and Baligh Hamdi
Nabil Azzam performs Bahlam Biek for violin and orchestra
Karima sings with MESTO under Nabil Azzam songs of Umm Kulthum,
Fairouz, Asmahan, Abd al-Wahhab and Sayyid Darwish
Nabil Azzam is back from, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Amman, Beirut and
Honoring legendary singers Wadie al-Safi
(right) and Sabah
Poet Henri Zoghaib
and Nabil Azzam
@ Casino Libnan, May 30-2009
Host of the event Lebanese Minister of Tourism Mr. Elie Marouni
At the home of Maestro Elias Rahbani: Ghassan Fahoum, Nabil
Azzam, Elias Rahbani and
Prof. Elie Kesrouani
Lebanese Star Singer Tony Hanna..
.generous invitation at
a great restaurant
TV show host Tony Khalifa..
an interest in MESTO
Dubai...Hotels are super clean...
Nabil and son Salim Azzam, Esq.
(more photos click on 'news' above)
A Very Successful Concert! Feb.21, 2009At UCLA,
Schoenberg HallKarima Skalli
shines with MESTO under the baton of
Karima performed with mastery songs of great Egyptian singers
The audience loved the elegance of the music and the singer
Flute virtuoso Laura Halladay performed Celtic Fantasia by Stephanie
Halladay and Azzam acknowledging composer Bennett
Oud player Fahd Shaaban in his debut on guitar! The active audience
insisted on repeating the intro of the song of Umm Kulthum with
the perfected solos of Qanun virtuoso Lilit Khojayan and Shaaban
on the guitar, Leola Wagner, violin...Maestro Azzam was so accommodating
with his prompt action. He stopped the orchestra and started the
Singing With The Stars
Sat. Feb. 21, 2009 @7:00
Schoenberg Hall (music department):
405 Hilgard Ave. Los Angeles CA 90024
Reserve your tickets early January 2009. Call tickets line (310)
General admission $40 (Sponsors $100)
Her debut concert in the U.S
Featuring Middle-East Star
The fabulous Moroccan singer Karima Skalli has earned her fame
throughout the Middle East thanks to her success in performing
concerts of Arab musical traditions.
Repertoire includes: Inta Umri (song
of Umm Kultum;) La' Mush Ana (Abd
Layali al- Uns (Asmahan;) Ya Habibi
Ta'ala (Asmahan.) In addition to instrumental compositions; Celtic
Fantasia for flutes by Stephanie Bennett (soloist Laura Halladay)
Sama'i Farahfaza, Longa Shahnaz, Maribel (by Nabil Azzam,) Min
Fiotunak and Laila Laila (of Muhammad Abdo)
Also featuring MESTO's flute virtuoso
(Performing Celtic Fantasia by Famous American Composer Stephanie
conductor and music director
MESTO just performed for the occasion!
Jan. 24 @USC MPAC
in support of Gaza
Star singer Woroud captivated the audience
Dr. Maher Hathout, Chairman of the Board of MPAC thanks Maestro
and star singer Woroud
Cairo in Hollywood
October 26, 2008
Zipper Concert Hall @ Colburn School of Music
HUGE SUCCESS and enthusiastic audience
RAVE REVIEWS Thanks to Maestro Nabil
Lilit Khojayan, qanun virtuoso
Anna-Suzette Eblen, our talented
Amneh, star-singer from Nazareth
Talented and dedicated orchestra musicians
photo by Samir Twair
The orchestra performed variety of compositions from around
Soprano Anna-Suzette; Star-singer Dalal Abu Amneh and Maestro
photo by Fatima Atiyyah
Qanun virtuoso Lilit Khojayan performs "Jasmine" by
dedicated to Dr. Tarek Shawaf
Talented soprano Anna-Suzette Eblen sings "Memory" and
"Besame Mucho"..she's the darling of the audience.
The orchestra in full...photo by Drew Kogon
Star-singer of the Middle East the fabulos Dalal Abu Amneh arrived
from Nazareth specially to perform with MESTO only one day before
her first performance in the US. Dalal captured the hearts of
the audience (Photo by: Samir Twair)
Dalal performing on of three songs: "Haddi ya Bahar,"
"Misru Allati," and "Fi Yum wi-Laila"
The audience gave MESTO and the soloists a standing ovation
Encore!!Dalal sings Egyptian song Biladi Biladi and Azzam accompanies
on violin photo by Fatima Atiyyah
MESTO is appreciated by a diverse audience typical of Los Angeles
Right before the concert Maestro Azzam with the two fabulous singers
Anna-Suzette and Dalal Abu Amneh of Nazareth (photo
by Fatimah Atiyyah)
NABIL AZZAM returns for the Middle East
Click on NEWS...
The latest...An official invitation to perform at the
17th Arab Music Festival and Conference in Cairo, November
1-10, 2008! Professor Ratiba El-Hefny "Our audience
MESTO performs Tuesday, November 4th. (Cairo Opera)
Thursday, November 6th (Alexandria Opera)
Special guest singer
with MESTO in Cairo!
Who will enchant the audience?
NEW*** Youtube!! search for "Ahwak
June 1st. 2008
@ 7:00 pm
"Babylon in San Diego"
Smashing success! Great repertoire, talented musicians,
warm audience. The concert was one of the best.
Al-Jazeerah TV covered
the event, will broadcast all-over the world.
Minutes before the concert, MESTO rehearsing with Samir
Nabil Azzam conducts the orchestra with mastery and
The audience was so responsive to and supportive of
Guest star singers were fabulous
The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
in Hollywood. Sunday, April 20, 2008
Zipper Concert Hall at The Colburn School of Music.
The orchestra performed instrumental selection and
demonstrated mastery with Lebanese music performed by
star singer Woroud and star singer Maurice Raad.
The audience loved Woroud and Maurice Raad and our Qanun
virtuoso Lilit Khojayan
Raad-Singing al-Safi and Tony Hanna and Joseph Azar
with confidence and smile
Woroud with MESTO since its first concert! Artistic
performance of special repertoire that included great
songs of Fairouz, the Rahbani Brothers and Elias Rahbani
Conductor Azzam with both Woroud and Maurice Raad and
Mr. Maurice Mitri receives the award Friend of MESTO.
On the stage Dr. Hassan Sassi (co-chair) Maurice Mitri,
Dr. Raymond Jallow and our Fahd Shaaban who was the
MC before the second half of the concert. Shaaban also
announced the 88th birthday of Mr. Charlie Gould (our
MESTO sponsor Dr. Tarek Shawaf (middle) is the guest
of honor who flew from London specially to attend "Baalbek
in Hollywood." From left, Dr. Raymond Jallow (co-founder,
friends of MESTO) Nabil Azzam, Dr. Tarek Shawaf, Captain
Joseph John and Dr. Naji Jurdi (who commissioned Banadi
'Alaik of El-Atrache)
Very special guests: Representing the Asian community,
highly respected guests of our good friend Mrs. Chisako
Kanimaru (second from left.) The music of Lebanon appealed
to their ear!
By phone from Beirut
commenting on Baalbek in Hollywood this Sunday
Maestro Elias Rahbani to Nabil Azzam
"Your orchestra is promoting our music in the most
Baalbek in Hollywood
Zipper Concert Hall
200 South Grand Ave, Los Angeles CA 90012
For tickets call MESTO @ (310)
general admission $30 (sponsors $100)
We accept payment with PayPal
Sunday,April 20, 2008
@ 8:00 pm