Swing Hakim

Swing Hakim is a Chicago-based ensemble that combines traditional jazz, Delta blues and classical Middle Eastern music. Their music is a truly organic mixture that takes the listener on a musical journey across continents. Swing Hakim’s eponymous debut album intersperses original pieces with jazz and blues reimagined through the lens of Middle Eastern maqam. Moving seamlessly between these musical idioms, the group blends Blues with Bayatti and seasons Swing with Samai; Caravan is performed in the maqam hijazkar kurd, St. James Infirmary is reimagined as a mix of oud and slide guitar. Guests on the album include renowned gypsy jazz guitarist Alfonso Ponticelli and violin virtuoso Steve Gibons. If Robert Johnson had joined Benny Goodman, Farid Al-Atrash, and Django Reinhardt on one album, the result might have been something like this.The core of Swing Hakim is a trio of veteran musicians. Stephen T. Asma (rhythm and slide guitar) is a Chicago blues man who has performed and toured across the countrywith many great bluesmen, such as Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor and B. B. King. Rami Gabriel (Oud, lead guitar) has performed classical Middle Eastern music and gypsy jazz throughout the United States in a variety of groups. Bryan Pardo (clarinet) is a member of the faculty at Northwestern University and has been a featured jazz, Balkan and klezmer music performer at music festivals and colleges throughout the USA, performing with John Zorn, Dee Alexander, Mucca Pazza and leading his own band, Balkano.

Past Shows

  • Thu, Dec 15 - 8pm - $7