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Bay Area Beats: Faisal Zedan

Courtesy of Faisal Zedan


Oakland’s Faisal Zedan is a musician from a village in southern Syria. Growing up, his family loved music, and he grew to be obsessed with Arabic drums called darabukkas.

He came to California in 1992 and started his music career playing works from Syria, Turkey, Greece and the Balkans. He’s played with Joan Baez, Gorillaz, and Khalil Shaheed.  


Today he performs and teaches Arabic drumming around the Bay Area and beyond.


And for him, it’s more than just drumming.



"A lot of people come and express appreciation, and some of them want to learn music, or at least get to know about it, and the culture. Because it's also reflecting and understanding our culture, and it really can connect people."

Click the audio player above to listen to the full story. 

Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.