Dudu Tassa & the Kuwaitis, is the cross-cultural joint Jewish-Arabic project from Israel which revives the music of the Al-Kuwaiti Brothers - composers of some of the most popular Iraqi songs from the early 20th century.
Being of Iraqi-Jewish (and Yemeni) descent, Tassa’s exploration of his roots revealed an amazing musical history. His grandfather and his great-uncle, known as the Al- Kuwaiti brothers, were among the greatest composers and musicians in Baghdad during the first half of the 20th century. They were considered the innovators and creators of modern Iraqi music, and also helped establish Bagdad’s original broadcasting authority. Among the King’s favourite singers at that time, their songs continue to be popular in the Arab world. In the 1950s they immigrated to Israel.
The project has released two albums so far: Dudu Tassa and the Kuwaitis (2011) and Ala Shawati (2015), Both recordings, helmed by Tassa and his musical partner Nir Maimon, salute the Al-Kuwaitis legacy, revive their songs and integrate Iraqi, Middle-eastern, and rock music, in a unique style. The songs were recorded in Iraqi Arabic, which Tassa learnt especially for the project. In both albums, Tassa hosts Jewish and Arab singers and performers, from Israel and Iraqi (including the notable singer and champion of Iraqi music, Ismail Fadel)
The recording of the first album was documented in Iraq’n’roll (2011) This film, which, tells the story of reviving the Al Kuwaiti brother’s music, was screened at many international film festivals.
The project received much praise from all around the world, including from the countries that are the roots of this music, Iraq and Kuwait. Dudu Tassa & the Kuwaitis is not merely about the powerful voice, musicianship and energy of the performers, but also about doing justice to an important chapter in the history of popular Arabic music.