Eastern Strings: Guitar, Mandolin, Joura, Oud

Eastern Strings

Musiqa min Al Dunia As-Sharqia ~ Music from the Eastern World
Original Microtonal Music Inspired by Traditional Arabic Maqamat and Iqaat and Other World Music Traditions
by
California Multi-Instrumentalist

Nathan Craver


Home

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Instruments

~ Performances ~ Recordings

Although I had a summer of piano lessons at the age of six and sang in the children's choir at my dad's church, my musical journey really began in junior high school, where I played viola in the orchestra for three years. I also began playing the guitar at age 12 and have never stopped, except for brief periods to learn to play the many other stringed and percussion instruments I have acquired since then. Among these are the mandolin, mandocello, bass guitar, joura and balalaika - and the oud, which I had long admired but feared. Following my wife, Yosifah Rose, into the world of Middle-Eastern music helped me overcome my fear and embrace the possibilities and challenges of the microtonal Arabic maqam scales.

Nathan and Yosifah in Egypt 2006

Coconut Monkey 2004

I have performed in many different musical formats and styles throughout the Bay Area for the past thirty+ years and have also toured Mexico and Germany. I have performed and recorded with local legends such as Linda Hirschhorn, Van Rozay, Toby Mountain and Dale Miller, as well as my old bands, local folk-rockers Wunderfungus, Lost Prophets and Coconut Monkey. In 2007, I played on several songs on the debut CD by my friend and former co-worker David Jones. In 2009, I played percussion on several songs for Thomas Martin's second CD.

I studied Creative Writing, Music Theory, Voice and Electronic Music (and had a semester of flute, which I was miserable at) at San Francisco State University in the mid-70s and Computer Science, Recording Arts, Video Editing and Voice at Diablo Valley and Los Medanos Community Colleges in more recent years. Although I am self-taught on most instruments, in the past few years, I have studied Arabic percussion with Susu Pampanin, Mary Ellen Donald, Tobias Roberson, Ziad Islambouli and Souhail Kaspar; oud with Naser Musa and Haig Manoukian; and studied Arabic rhythms, maqam theory and Arabic ensemble music with Elias Lammam from 2004-2007.

Dressed for work 2007

I have more recently recorded and produced several solo instrumental CDs of improvised Middle-Eastern influenced pieces on various instruments. I currently play Middle-Eastern classics on oud and percussion with Al 'Azifoon and guitar and mandolin with Indigo Caravan.

Yosifah and Nathan at home 2011

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Yosifah and Nathan are featured in this
Contra Costa Times article
promoting 2011 Contra Costa Library educational concerts.


San Francisco 1972

Contact Nathan
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Al 'Azifoon Site
Al 'Azifoon on FaceBook
Al 'Azifoon on YouTube
Indigo Caravan Site
Indigo Caravan on FaceBook
Indigo Caravan on YouTube
Nathan Craver on FaceBook
Nathan Craver on SoundCloud
Nathan Craver on YouTube