Dedicated experts with a passion to help

Hussein Janmohamed

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Hussein is a guest conductor and artistic adviser with Nai Choir. He is a Toronto-based choral artist, composer, and music facilitator and conductor. He is pursuing doctoral studies in music education at the University of Toronto focusing on the role choral music can play to support Muslim youth identity in dialogue with a diverse Canada. Huseein is the first recipient of the B.C. Choral Federation Malcolm McDonald Youth Achievement Award for his distinguished service, community building, and inspirational leadership.

Esmaeel AboFakher

 Esmaeel is Nai's Resident Musician. Born to a musician family in Syria, Esmaeel is a versatile instrumentalist, playing  bouzouki  and  oud  among other things. Esmaeel was also a trained paramedic.   With wife Rahaf Alakbani, Esmaeel arrived in Canada in February 2016 as a refugee.  Esmaeel and Rahaf were the main organizers of the famous  Newcomer Kitchen , and became Nai's key musicians and facilitators in May 2016. Esmeeel plays with AraBest and in 2018 built the Jawa band with other recently arrived Syrian refugee musicians.    Esmaeel and Rahaf are also songwriters. They wrote the now famous Nai signature song "Singing for Peace" when they were still in Turkey. The couple are both pursuing Master degree in Community Music at Wilfrid Laurier Univerisity.

Esmaeel is Nai's Resident Musician. Born to a musician family in Syria, Esmaeel is a versatile instrumentalist, playing bouzouki and oud among other things. Esmaeel was also a trained paramedic. 

With wife Rahaf Alakbani, Esmaeel arrived in Canada in February 2016 as a refugee.  Esmaeel and Rahaf were the main organizers of the famous Newcomer Kitchen, and became Nai's key musicians and facilitators in May 2016. Esmeeel plays with AraBest and in 2018 built the Jawa band with other recently arrived Syrian refugee musicians.  

Esmaeel and Rahaf are also songwriters. They wrote the now famous Nai signature song "Singing for Peace" when they were still in Turkey. The couple are both pursuing Master degree in Community Music at Wilfrid Laurier Univerisity.

Hanna Touma

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Recently arrived in Canada as a refugee, Hanna already made his name as an oud player and singer in his native country Syria and the neighboring Lebanon before he had to fled that war-torn area.  

A graduate from a Damascus music school and trained as music teacher, Hanna enjoys working with children and has been assisting our choirs' rehearsals and music camp activities since March 2018. Although still very new in the GTA communities, Hanna has already been very active performing. He is a lead singer of a local church in Markham and formed the Jawa band with Esmaeel and other Syrian newcomer musicians. 

Miguel Brito-Lopez

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Mexican pianist Miguel is currently working as accompnaist with Nai. Miguel has a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano Performance from the University of Toronto (2018) and a Master of Music in Piano degree from the University of British Columbia (2012). His principal teachers have been the professor Nancy Weems (University of Houston), Aquiles Delle-Vigne (CODARTS), the concert-pianist Mauricio Nader in Mexico City and professor Rena Sharon (UBC) from whom Miguel received mentorship within the area of iano solo and chamber music. Miguel worked from 2012 to 2016 as a piano teacher and collaborative pianist in the city of Vancouver, especially for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music (VSOSofM) , and as repetiteur for the opera productions at the Vancouver Academy of Music (2013-2015). 

Adham Al Kuntar 

 Adham was born and raised in Syria. He is a professional percussionist, with more than 10 years experience. He plays  Dumbek, Riqq, Qat im, Deff and  Mezhar , and is very interested in mixing Arabic percussion with western music.  Adham studied music at Youth Institute of Music in Damascus. He played with several bands in Syria and taught children percussion art.  Before he fled the war, he made a comfortable living as a dental technician. He arrived in Canada in February 2016 with his wife and their son.  Adham joined Nai in August 2016 and is currently a member of the  Canadian Arabic Orchestra . With Esmaeel and Rahaf, Adham and several other Syrian musicians established a band called SYCA in the Greater Toronto Area.

Adham was born and raised in Syria. He is a professional percussionist, with more than 10 years experience. He plays Dumbek, Riqq, Qatim, Deff and Mezhar, and is very interested in mixing Arabic percussion with western music.

Adham studied music at Youth Institute of Music in Damascus. He played with several bands in Syria and taught children percussion art.

Before he fled the war, he made a comfortable living as a dental technician. He arrived in Canada in February 2016 with his wife and their son.

Adham joined Nai in August 2016 and is currently a member of the Canadian Arabic Orchestra. With Esmaeel and Rahaf, Adham and several other Syrian musicians established a band called SYCA in the Greater Toronto Area.

Salam Khorshid 

 Salam was trained as a classical violinist in Syria. She attended the  Higher Institute of Music in Damascus to study violin, and graduated with a Bachelor Degree. As her musicianship grew, she discovered her other passion - teaching young people.  As a professional violinist, she took part in many concerts, playing solo, in ensembles or as an orchestra member. Salam held numerous violin concerts for her students for them to gain experience and exposure. Some of them were admitted to  higher education institutes to study music.  In 2009, Salam started organizing a choir for Iraqi children who had fled the war to seek refuge in Syria. Read more about Salam's  - a musician's journey from Damascus to Toronto .  Shortly after arriving  in Canada, Salam  joined Nai in March 2017, and became actively involved in local music communities. Salam is currently a member of  Orchestra Toronto . She recently received  Toronto Arts Council 's "Newcomer and Refugee Artist Mentorship" grant to work with  Linda Eyman  on choral conducting.

Salam was trained as a classical violinist in Syria. She attended the  Higher Institute of Music in Damascus to study violin, and graduated with a Bachelor Degree. As her musicianship grew, she discovered her other passion - teaching young people.  As a professional violinist, she took part in many concerts, playing solo, in ensembles or as an orchestra member. Salam held numerous violin concerts for her students for them to gain experience and exposure. Some of them were admitted to  higher education institutes to study music.

In 2009, Salam started organizing a choir for Iraqi children who had fled the war to seek refuge in Syria. Read more about Salam's - a musician's journey from Damascus to Toronto.

Shortly after arriving  in Canada, Salam  joined Nai in March 2017, and became actively involved in local music communities. Salam is currently a member of Orchestra Toronto. She recently received Toronto Arts Council's "Newcomer and Refugee Artist Mentorship" grant to work with Linda Eyman on choral conducting.

 
 

As a refugee children's choir, we are dedicated to promoting talents within the refugee community. We are very fortunate that a team of committed Syrian musicians joined us,  and continue to be the backbone of the choir.  We are also grateful that Regent Park School of Music was Nai's music education partner between October 2016 and May 2018. RPSM's high quality teaching faculty worked with the children and mentored Nai's Syrian musicians on a weekly basis

Musicians who have worked with Nai 

Monique De Margerie

Lucas Marchand

Dallas Bergen

Tahirih Vejdani 

Adam Sakiyama

Karen Cyrus

Brian Elkhoury

Shireen Abu-Khader

Roy Menagh

Victoria Fuller

Hoora Sayed-Ahmadian

Iman Talmas 

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