Our luck this year has changed and Assyrian recording artist and composer Linda George will be performing some of her most popular songs live for the first time accompanied by the Mesopotamian Night Symphony Orchestra.
Linda started singing at the age of five at St. Mary Church in Baghdad, Iraq. Immediately after the migration of her family to Chicago in 1979 Linda began participating with the church choir there as well. It was at the church choir is when the famous singer Sargon Gabriel recognized Linda’s singing capability and offered her to record some songs on his next album. At the age of 15, Linda recorded her debut song “Dalaleh” together with Sargon in 1981. In that album Linda is audible to four songs; three of them duets featuring Sargon and her own song ,Zari Zari. This record represents the discovery of a legend by another legend. The album “Dalaleh” was a further hit by Sargon Gabriel, but just the beginning of Linda’s career.
Linda’s first album “Hal Eman” was released in 1983. The further albums “Kursia d-Malkota” and “Naghme men Atri” strengthened her position in Assyrian music. In the last mentioned album she took well-known Assyrian folk melodies and gave them new life with her voice. She learned these old melodies from her mother Khatoon. Linda’s maternal grandfather Youkhanna was a known singer of the Asheeta tribe in North Iraq.
Linda tried to experiment with different music styles during her career. On her 1993 album “Khamra Teeqa” there are Beat and Rap elements audible. The song “Matlab d-Libby” is accompanied by the Assyrian Rapper Walid Ishak (M.C. Roc) with English and Assyrian parts.
Since her breakthrough Linda has been travelling all around the world. The most memorable and highlight of her career was when she returned to her homeland Assyria (North Iraq) in April 2001 and performed in front of over 20,000 fans. Inspired from her trip the album “Shtiquta d-Rawula” (Silence of a Valley) was released in 2003. This album contains Linda’s first own west-Assyrian song (“Umtho hich lo Maytho”. Parts of the music of this record were also used for the Assyrian movie “Cost of Happiness”.
After the liberation of Iraq and the fall of Saddam Hussein, Linda released her Arabic CD “Ana Hurra” (I am free) with 4 songs. The song “Ana Hurra” became a liberty hymn as well as her song “Hulla Hulla” which aired in many Middle East radio stations. Nevertheless, Linda’s attitude regarding singing in other languages is clear. She wants to spread her message about the Assyrian heritage. Therefore she often criticizes her own fans who demand Arabic songs from her at events.
Representing Assyrian music on an international level by participation in contests or festivals is one of Linda’s dreams. The Sweden based organization, Assyrian without Borders (AWB) announced in June 2011 its partnership with Linda George as ambassador of this association.
One further spectacular appearance was at the opening game for team “Assyriska FF” on April 24, 2005. The team was just promoted to the Swedish First Division Soccer League for the first time in their history. Linda sung “Ho Donho Shemsho”, a west-Assyrian patriotic song in front of 60,000 spectators.
Linda started her singing career by being involved in her church and she still remains frequently active in church ceremonies, as well as choir. She released two complete religious albums “Kinnara d-Roukha” in 1988 and “Marganyathe d-Madinkha” in 2010. Her voice is also present in various church albums.
There is no doubt about the exceptional singing ability of Linda George, but it is not well known that she has 45 songs that she composed herself. Among these musical compositions are known songs like “Kursia d-Malkoota” (1984), “Kuma w-Khwara” (1992), “Khamra Teeqa” (1993), “Zriley” (1993) and “Parkhanita” (2007). She also wrote the lyrics of 20 of her songs.
Linda has worked with other singers and sung duets with them. Among these artists are Sargon Gabriel, Janan Sawa, Ramsen Sheeno, Laith Yousif, Nawfel, David Simon, Raad Zaia, George Homeh, Bubkey, Urhay Warda, Albert Mansoor, and Johnny Bandaleros, Walter Aziz, Inleil Aho, and Charles Tooma.
Another highpoint in Linda’s career was singing “Nishra d’Khouma” soundtrack of Henri Charr’s movie “A Man Before His Time-The Unsung Story of Freydon Atouraya” that was debuted in early 2016.
The accomplishments of Linda George regarding her records are 15 Assyrian albums, one Arabic CD and English CD. She is the female singer with the most released songs (around 138) ever.
- Hal Eiman – 1983
- Kursia D’Malkoota – 1984
- Melodies From North of My Country – 1986
- Warda Bil Drananeh d’Khooba – 1988
- Kinara D’Rookha – 1988
- Alahta D’Khooba, Shoopra O Khaila – 1989
- Kooma O’Khwara – 1992
- Khamra Teeka – 1993
- Peace On Earth – 1994
- Khoot Goolpaneh D’Malakha – 1995
- The Golden Collection – 1997
- Colors of my Country – 1999
- No Quarter (English Single) – 2001
- Silence Of A Valley – 2003
- I am Free (Arabic Single) – 2005
- Doushi – 2007
- Mokhneeten Minokh – 2010
- Pearls of the East – 2010
- LG and Friends – 2013
- Poolada – 2015