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Issam Houshan is one of the rarest talents on Earth
On the cover:
Issam Houshan playing the drum, live. Born in Syria and emigrated to the U.S. 24 years ago, Issam had formal music training in the Damascus Academy of Music and went on to drum for a host of Arab music stars and famous bellydancers.
King Of The Drum
Issam Houshan is one of the rarest of talents as that is exactly what he does, Call him the Wassan Pharaoun, King Of The Drum, or Mr. Magic Fingers and you only tell the half of it. It's his connection to the dancer that is the essence of his magic. It is a merging of egos serving a mutual and identical goal that few musicians ever master fully. Issam is now recognized as the ultimate master of this art. In the BDSS Issam has become a mentor, partner, and inspiration giving selflessly to the good of the troupe as a whole.
Issam was born in Syria and emigrated to the U.S. 24 years ago. He had formal music training in the Damascus Academy of Music and went on to drum for a host of Arab music stars and famous bellydancers. He is also the only remaining disciple of the legendary Arab drum master Mahmood Salahadeen. In the U.S. he performed with Sting on the Grammys and with the BELLYDANCE SUPERSTARS in over 400 shows in 16 countries. Issam's background, training and experience have made him in huge demand for drum tutorials and workshops. He does these both on his own and in conjunction with bellydance instructors especially Sonia.
Issam is featured in the film American Bellydancer, Solos From Monte Carlo, Bellydance Superstars, 30 Days To Vegas, Babelesque: Live from Tokyo, The Art of Bellydance: Live from Shanghai, 3D Superstars (Vol. 1 and 2), Behind The Shimmy, as well as the upcoming "Bombay Bellywood: Live from Los Angeles", set to be released in August 2011. Issam partners with Sonia on The Art Of The Drum Solo instructional DVD, and has recently released another instructional - Introduction to Middle Eastern Rhythms. His CD releases include his own Wassan Pharaoun, The Dancing Drum Vol. 1, 2 & 3, Issam Houshan & the Damascus Bellydance Orchestra, Chemistry of the Drum, Mystery of the Rhythm, and percussion on the Galactic Caravan albums.
Miranda Leonardo, Contributor: I am an Italian-Indian woman, who has loved the art of dance since I was a child. I admire only, and dance privately for my own internal strength and independent study. I graduated Duke University in 2005 with a Master of Arts in History. I am working on my PhD in History, enjoying my family, and will never stop dancing. (more...)