The Many Journeys of Kinan Azmeh

Kinan Azmeh is a clarinet virtuoso and composer. He’s also probably pretty good at packing a suitcase.

With an insane travel schedule like his, he’d have to be.

“I feel incredibly lucky to be able to bring my music to a variety of places,” he said, taking a breaking from packing for a trip to China to talk with Lark Clark for World Spinning.

“I do see the world as my playground.”

The clarinet virtuoso and composer first trained in his home of Damascus at the age of six, before later travelling to New York to continue his study. Now, as part of the Grammy-winning Silk  Road ensemble he continues that globetrotting; the China trip follows recent jaunts to Amsterdam and Berlin.

Canada is coming up on the list. He’s bringing his jazz-and-new-music group CityBand to the Arden Theater in St. Albert February 9th.

Kinan’s musical philosophy is a lot like his travel itinerary — it covers different spots all over the planet. He says he does his best to avoid spending being tied to a particular genre or style of

performance. Instead, he likes to borrow from the musical vocabulary of many different styles and cultures. In doing so, it allows him to find the common thread woven underneath all of them.

“At the core, It’s all the same I think. Which is to communicate human emotions that we don’t have the luxury of experiencing in real life and we cannot express in language. That’s why we use music.”

Have a listen to Kinan’s full interview with Lark, where he talks more about playing with the Silk Road Ensemble, getting stuck abroad after the U.S. travel band and more about his upcoming Arden show.