Entertainment

Jazz it up: Arab musicians bring their songs to Germany

In this Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 photo oud player Alaa Zouiten performs during an 'Arab Song Jam' concert in Berlin, Germany. Arab musicians are holding a monthly "jam session" in Berlin. At the event, musicians start playing famous Arab songs before asking other musicians to join them on stage to jam. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

In this Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 photo oud player Alaa Zouiten performs during an 'Arab Song Jam' concert in Berlin, Germany. Arab musicians are holding a monthly "jam session" in Berlin. At the event, musicians start playing famous Arab songs before asking other musicians to join them on stage to jam. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN — Arab musicians in Berlin are bringing their musical roots to Germans — with a little help from American jazz.

At the monthly Arab Song Jam in the German capital, musicians use famous Arab songs as a starting point before inviting other musicians onto the stage for a jam session in a style pioneered by American jazz musicians before World War II.

"All musicians know these jazz sessions. So we use that technique on Arab songs," said Moroccan musician Alaa Zouiten, who plays the oud, a kind of lute, and who led a recent session. "It is a great idea because it brings popular Arab songs to life here in Berlin."

Berlin's already large Arab community has grown since 2015 with the arrival of tens of thousands of refugees from Syria.

More on Metronews.ca