Land Of Kush is a large orchestra assembled and directed by Montreal composer and musician Sam Shalabi, one of the city’s most unique and prolific players over the past decade. Shalabi performs constantly on electric guitar and oud, with regular appearances in numerous jazz and free improv ensembles, membership in a kaleidoscope of avant rock bands, and at the compositional helm of various musical assemblages large and small.
Shalabi has seen a dozen full-length album recordings released in the last eight years, under his own name and with Shalabi Effect (on Alien8Recordings) and as a member of Molasses, Detention, Po, ’Gypt Gore and Nutsack. His eponymous albums often include genre-defying compositions for larger ensembles and Shalabi has also mounted many live performances and commissioned compositions for hybrid orchestras that have gone largely undocumented.
Land Of Kush is among the most ambitious and impressive of Shalabi’s projects: the group involves over 30 musicians and two dozen different instruments, including a cluster of strings, horns and woodwinds, multiple percussionists, bassists and guitarists, numerous vocalists, electronics, snyths, darbouka and oud.
Land Of Kush has performed a handful of mesmerising shows in Montreal over the past couple of years, premiering three different hour-long works over that period. Two of these were recorded in studio at the invitation of Constellation and released in spring 2009 (Against The Day) and spring 2010 (Monogamy) respectively.
A third most recent new work was premiered at the Festival de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in May 2010.
The line-up for the group at Godspeed You! Black Emperor's ATP will be:
radwan ghazi moumneh - bouzouk, keyboards, vocals
omar dewachi - oud, vocals
ariel engle - vocals
sam shalabi - oud, electric guitar, keyboards