Legendary Singer Ninib Lahdo Live at Mesopotamian Night 2015

Mesopotamian Night is pleased to bring to the stage from Europe the legendary Assyrian recording artist Ninib Lahdo, originally from Syria, known for his stylistic Eastern repertoire

An important voice in the Assyrian folk music is the singer Ninib A. Lahdo. He became famous by performing songs like “Azzen Azzen”, “Habtho d-Heto” and “Hano Qritho”. Already in 1968, the young Ninib started playing jumbush (banjo) in his village Gerke-Shamo (northeast of Syria), where he was born in 1955.

In that village a amateur music band was established at the end of the 1960s. At that time they sang unofficial Assyrian songs with different and foreign melodies, which were written by the later priest Iskandar Afram (e.g. Rhimli Hubo Metulothekh, later recorded by Jan Karat in 1977). This band later adapted the released songs like “Shamo mar”, “Greshla Idi” and others.

Shortly after arriving in Beirut in 1971, Ninib met Habib Mousa and accompanied him to several festivals as an Oud Player.  On a short trip back to Qamishli in 1973, he played Jumbush at a scout celebration with a band lead by Gabriel Asaad and his Son Sardanapal as singer, Joseph Nasrallah, Hanna Maqdisi Elias and others as musicians.  After the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war, Ninib fled to Sweden via Greece in 1977. There, he decided to pursue a career as a singer.

After he first performed with a Swedish band, he met the Assyrian composer and musician Joseph Malke and the Babylon Band (with Simon & Butros Hadrouli) which was established in 1975.  Later this band gets with Shamiram group together and so the Ishtar Music Group was established in 1981. In 1979 he recorded a demo with songs like “Yelta Men Demmi”, “Sham’unko” and other, and since then he has officially performed as a singer.  In 1980 he participated in a children album arranged by Joseph Malke in which he among others sung “Nihe Nihe Betlono” and other songs.  He recorded his his first album in the end of 1981, and released it in 1982, which contained popular songs like “Azzen Azzen” or “Tokku Tokhu Habibe” and “Rhimto d-Leb” (Jalil Maiilo’s classis from 1969).

After releasing his first album, Ninib continued working with Joseph Malke on creating another album of children songs, named as the second children album of Ishtar Music Group.

Theater and Film

On the initiative of the director Dawud Ibrahim the music and theatre association “Ha Nisan” was founded in 1985 in Södertälje. With the massive support of the founder, this association performed five theatre acts: “Shamo w-Athra”(1985), “Telole Qatmonoye”, “Geshro d-Dalale”, “9 w-1” (1988), and “Tlawhe w-Folitiqi” (1995). Ninib played by himself on all acts.

The association released also a choir album in 1989 with compositions of Nuri Iskandar and three solo songs of Ninib.  After the decease of the founder in 2003, the association became inactive. Ninib himself was for one year the chairman of this association.

In the film “Darbo d-Hubo”, which was produced in 2006 in Germany Ninib played one of the leading parts.

Political & social engagements

Ninib A. Lahdo is not only an artist and a famous singer, he is also known as an active member in cultural and political institutions. Already at the age of 12 he participated in meetings of the ADO. Later he served as a member of several committees and was elected as chairman of the Assyrian Federation in Sweden (1997/1998).

Source: Zeitoune. Abboud. 2007. Music Pearls of Beth-Nahrin: An Assyrian/Syriac Discography. 1st ed. Germany: Wiesbaden. 312p.