Naseer Shamma is an Iraqi artist and a distinguished Oud player born in 1963 in Kut, Iraq. Graduating from the Institute of Music Studies in Baghdad in 1987 was the beginning of a long array of achievements in his musical career and specifically the Oud instrument, he obtained his PhD in Musical Philosophy
Recognised with over 60 awards kicked off in his graduation year with “Best Emotional Melody in Iraq” working his way up to obtain the honours of the Iraqi artist syndicate for three consecutive years from 1988-1990, Best Artist in Iraq in 1994, 1998 Royal British Academy Award, the Rotterdam Arab festival Award and many more.
From the mid to late 80’s Shamma began exporting his musical culture to Europe with memorable performances such as that of the Armani theatre of Paris, outcomes of concerts then on in Germany, Switzerland, London and others soon contrasted Shamma as a leading maestro in the international music scene and eventually the Oud master. Releasing his first albums in Italy, UK, Egypt and Algeria Shamma has presented over sixty compositions that translate his musical vision.
During his stride Shamma went on to launch “The Arab Oud House” with its first establishment in Cairo in 1999, where he would orchestrate and manage the advancement of Oud students to an expert level, sharing his techniques and additions to the instrument, the Arab Oud House would include other instruments such as the Saz, Nay, Qanun and oriental percussion. The Arab Oud House has since been established in Abu Dhabi in 2008, Alexandria in 2011 and Baghdad in 2018, all continue to be monitored in terms of developments by Shamma himself, graduates of the Arab Oud House would gain the opportunity of performing with Shamma in concerts across the world as part of the Arab Oud House Orchestra which has not only set a new standard for the Arab Orchestra as a whole but has also managed to bridge to western audiences the Arab musical culture on an academic level.
Shamma has taken great interest in group and orchestral music with dozens of performances alongside prominent elements such as the Metropolitan Orchestra of Montreal, and with leading Jazz artists such as Wynton Marsalis, The Lebanese Oriental Orchestra and his own establishment of the Global Ensemble which grouped leading artists from across the western world lead by Shamma himself and then raising the calibre with the establishment of the Eastern Orchestra which binds over 75 artists mainly from Asia and the middle east to the Mediterranean and Europe. Such settings have since been presented by Shamma across all continents.
Throughout Shamma’s career a priority has always been his humanitarian contribution in promoting peace across the world, projects such as T.A.Z.C which treats vulnerable children in India, the Ahluna Foundation which has supported over three million refugees since it was established, Alaq Baghdad is another of the bigger projects that is currently ongoing and aims to rebuild 21 main squares in the capital Baghdad in addition to rehabilitation of main high streets in the city, all part of an effort to bring life and investments back to Iraq. All the while using music to raise funds for a long list of vetted projects that serve his humanitarian vision. He has been credited for his humanitarian work with awards such as that of the 2012 International Gusi Peace Prize, assigned the Ambassador of the of the Iraqi Red Crescent, Ambassador of the International non Violence Association and he continues to serve as the UNESCO Artist for Peace and as of late the goodwill ambassador to the International Red Crescent and Red Cross Societies (IFRC).