Monday, 6 November 2017

“Golan,” more than a mash up of jazz and Arab traditions

By: Rolla Bahsous

"Golan" ensemble with Hubert Dupont

Hubert DuPont’s “Golan” (Al Joulan) ended the fifth day of the Festival of Arabic Music andArts (FAMA) at Lester Pearson Theater in Brampton last Saturday November 4th, 2017.

Double bass player, Hubert DuPont was joined by Youssef Hbeisch on percussions, Yousef Zayed on the Oud, Nabil Ghannouchi on the Nay, and Matthieu Donarier on the clarinet.
Audience members had the opportunity to experience the meeting of cultures as Golan’s music belongs to both jazz and Arab musical traditions.

DuPont's idea for Golan came from his initial meeting with Hbeisch, over ten years ago, and they began playing together. Since then, DuPont began to explore oriental music. He realized that Hbeisch’s unique rhythms matched his own sound, and their songs had a “meeting point” that joined both traditions, even though their “sounds are not always traditional.”

DuPont explains that the name of his ensemble, Golan, comes from Syria. The initial title was first conceptualized while DuPont was visiting Palestine, and realized that Hbeisch and his other team members had a special connection to the occupied Golan Heights area.

He notes that his team members explained that “the real name is ‘Al Joulan,’” and came up with the idea to actually play their music in Majdal Shams, the capital of the occupied Golan Heights.

When asked how their music was received in Majdal Shams, DuPont explains that “it was amazing because people have few cultural events there,” and that it was “an opportunity to see the everyday life over there. It is really something to see with many details the humiliations people face every day.”

“Things are actually much more complicated. When you get there, you get to know and understand many things that you don’t understand from the outside,” DuPont notes.

“I don’t believe we can change the world with music, but I think that we musicians do some things that other people maybe cannot do because we mix the cultures and we play together. Music is a good beginning to make things right, to unite people.”

For more information about FAMA, and to buy tickets to the rest of the amazing performances coming up untill Nov 12th, 2017, visit


  1. i had only heard both of the traditional music seperately but i had no idea if both came togetherit could create something as beautiful as this

    1. Thank you. They are beautiful indeed.


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