Exploring the Uniqueness of Khaleeji Rhythms

Applications are open.

Dive into the uniqueness of Khaleeji rhythms and listen to the stories and histories they tell: What influences do they embody? Why are they so special? What research exists on the different types of rhythms? How do they relate to other types of modern and traditional music? What new interpretations of Khaleeji rhythms are there in our present times?

Developed and led by Alexandra Ivanova, and facilitated with Natahn Ott, Niklas Lukassen, and Lynn Adib ‘Exploring the Uniqueness of Khaleeji Rhythms’ is a workshop and collaborative research lab, featuring listening exercises, group discussions and rhythm circles. Participants will be invited to bring listening examples, questions and materials that will be explored collectively within the workshop.


About the Instructor

Alexandra Ivanova

Alexandra is a pluricultural pianist, composer and researcher, born in Austria with Bulgarian roots, and having called France, the Middle East and the Gulf her home. She was classically trained at the piano as a child and is primarily self-taught in jazz, performing with her jazz trios since the age of 16. While living in the Gulf, she developed a curiosity for traditional music from the Arabian Peninsula and found a mentor in autodidact Tarek Yamani. Her research on ‘swing’ in Khaleeji rhythms was featured on the international platform Afikra in 2019 and reconducted in 2020 with primary research gathered from interviews.

On the piano, Alexandra’s interest lies in polyrhythms, Bulgarian and Maqam-based music in conversation with jazz harmony and Afrocuban claves, as a way to express her multiple identities. She has performed her music in the UAE, Austria, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Iceland, most notably at Reykjavik Jazz Festival 2020. Alexandra has earned scholarships from the Berlin Senate 2022 and the German Music Fund 2021 for her composition work and research.

Beyond her music, Alexandra is a hyperpolyglot and graduate of the Paris Institute for Political Sciences (Sciences Po Paris) with a past career in creative industry development, strategy and project management.


Niklas Lukassen

Bassist, composer and singer Niklas Lukassen lives in New York and Berlin and is a rising force in the international jazz scene with a special artistic signature. He holds a Masters’ degree from the Manhattan School of Music with a full scholarship under mentorship of Ron Carter. Niklas has collaborated with artists like Mike Stern, Joe Lovano, Oz Noy and Sean Wayland, and has toured Malaysia, China, England, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, Austria and the USA. He has received generous endorsements, such as the dedication of a “Niklas Lukassen Signature Bass Guitar Model” from “Merlos” (Spain, 2016).

Nathan Ott

The young bandleader and drummer Nathan Ott was hailed by jazz experts since he released his debut album in 2016 with his quartet featuring Dave Liebman. He took the spirit of the Elvin-Jones Band’s legendary Lighthouse-Edition from the 70s into the 21st century and showed how fruitful such a transgenerational intercontinental encounter in jazz can be. In his young career, Nathan Ott has collaborated with artists like Richie Beirach, Tobias Delius and Jonas Westergaard. He has studied with  Bill Elgart and Holger Nell in Germany, as well as with Adam Nussbaum, Greg Hutchinson and Billy Hart in the USA, before he moved to Berlin in 2019 where he currently lives and works.

Lynn Adib

Born and raised in Damascus, Syria. Lynn Adib is a singer, composer who has been exploring Arabic music and improvisation through Jazz music that she discovered around the age of 19 after spending years in the Choir of Joy and learning classical flute at the National Conservatory, both in her hometown. After moving to Paris in 2009 and since the release of her Debut Album « Youmma » in 2018, Lynn has been collaborating with artists from all around the world giving birth to several projects such as « Bedouin Burger », « Yalla Queen », and preparing to release a duo album with French musician Marc Buronfosse.

Lynn has a degree in Jazz studies from Paris Conservatory and Pharmacy degree with masters in medical biology, she lives in Paris, France.