Now based in New York City, Ali Amr is a Palestinian vocalist and qanun performer. His compositions contemplate Arabic and jazz music while embracing different textures and styles within the two. Amr was honored with three advanced Marcel Khalife Competition Awards, including the National Heritage Award as the Music Performer of the Year, 2004–2007. Since then, he has been touring worldwide with different acts, including his own group, Ali Amr Experiment.
Amr’s childhood was steeped in music as he began playing the qanun and singing at the age of five at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. He has performed in countless artistic events throughout the Middle East and in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Holland, Japan, Spain, and Turkey, among many other places.
In 2002, Arabic music virtuoso Simon Shaheen discovered Amr at the Music Retreat in Massachusetts, where he earned accolades from leading musicians and Arabic music specialists. At age 13, he completed a two-month tour of the United States, starting at the United Nations in New York and ending with an audience of 85,000 at San Antonio’s Alamo Dome in Texas. Since then, he has performed in world-renowned venues such as Boston's Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall (New York), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), the Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles), Auditorio Nacional (Madrid, Spain), and Koerner Hall (Toronto, Ontario, Canada).
Watch Amr perform with his band at the Newport Jazz Festival here:
His most recent appearances after graduating from Berklee include the Festival de Peralada in Spain, where he was invited by 27-time Grammy-winning producer Quincy Jones as part of the Global All-Stars Group with Lionel Loueke, Esperanza Spalding, and Antonio Carmona. Amr also performed at multiple festivals, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Istanbul Jazz Festival with seven-time Grammy-winning producer Javier Limón. His several Berklee festivals include the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival, the International Folk Music Festival, and the Middle East Music Festival.