b. Cairo, Egypt. 1983
At just 32 years of age, Joseph Tawadros (AM) has established himself as one of the world’s leading oud performers
and composers. A virtuoso of amazing diversity and sensitivity, Joseph continues to appear in concert halls worldwide,
dazzling audiences with his brilliant technique, passionate musicianship and his joyous style of performance.
Always willing to push the boundaries and challenge traditional musical forms and rhythms, his efforts have led him to
many unique collaborations. Truth Seekers, Lovers and Warriors (ABC Classics) is his 12th album, following on from
Storyteller, Rouhani, Visions, Epiphany, Angel, The Prophet: Music Inspired by the Poetry of Kahlil Gibran, The Hour of
Separation, Band of Brothers, Concerto of the Greater Sea, Chameleons of the White Shadow and Permission to
Evaporate – the last three of which won Best World Music Album at the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry
Association) Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively: a rare industry hat-trick.
A resident of Australia since 1986, Joseph has been responsible for expanding the Oud’s presence in mainstream
western culture and has also been recognized in the Arab world, being invited to appear on the judging panel of the
Damascus International Oud competition in 2009, and in Istanbul’s first Oud festival in 2010. Joseph has toured
extensively, head lining in Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East, collaborating with artists such as Zakir Hussain,
Sultan Khan, Béla Fleck, John Abercrombie, John Patitucci, Jack DeJohnette, Richard Bona, Roy Ayers, Jean-Louis
Matinier, Ivry Gitlis, Camerata Salzburg, Christian Lindberg, Neil Finn, Lior, Katie Noonan, Richard Tognetti and the
Australian Chamber Orchestra, and the Academy of Ancient Music, amongst others. He has also had guest
appearances with the Sydney, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony Orchestras.
In 2016, Tawadros performs at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA, Tasmania), Perth International Arts Festival
and Melbourne Recital Centre as part of ‘Band of Brothers’ with the Grigoryan brothers; a return to the National Folk
Festival with his Trio and Quartet, and the Canberra International Music Festival; for Riverside Theatres and in
Joseph is the proud Member of the Order of Australia (2016). In 2014 Joseph was nominated for the Young Australian
of the Year awards and was a part of the final 4 nominees for NSW, as well as receiving the Premier’s Medal for Arts
and Culture in the same year.
b. Sydney, Australia. 1989
At only 27 years of age, James Tawadros has already made a name for himself as a world-class percussionist and
soloist. His main instrument is the req, a small hand-held tambourine, traditionally with skin covering and five pairs of
It is James’ unique innovative style and mastery of the req that has brought him great acclaim worldwide. His
dexterity, rhythmic variety and virtuosity continue to amaze audiences. He has performed internationally with many
celebrated artists and regularly accompanies his brother Joseph in concert. Some of his career highlights as soloist
include orchestral tours with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Camerata Salzburg, as well as a duet recording
collaboration with legendary jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette (of Miles Davis fame) for the album The Hour
of Separation which also featured jazz luminaries John Abercrombie and John Patitucci.
In 2004, at just 15 years of age, James featured as youngest ever guest soloist with the ACO, and in 2006 took part in
their national tour The Travellers, featuring the Tawadros brothers. He has performed with greats such as Béla Fleck,
Richard Bona, Joey DeFrancesco, and Roy Ayers, to name a few. With his brother Joseph, he has also won three ARIA
Awards for Best World Music Album, in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
“If genius is partly exceeding all likelihood of a given potential, then James Tawadros was flirting with genius as he played the
req, a small tambourine. He extracted an array of sounds, textures and rhythms to shame most kit-drummers.”
– Sydney Morning Herald