© 2019 by EGYPSY Trio. 

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Nad Ragheb is an Australian Egyptian musician, actor and public speaker based in Sydney. He started playing the Nay when he was 17. In fact, he taught himself how to play the nay by ear and without reading musical sheets, just by practicing on plastic tubes and before he owned any Nays at the time. Nad, then bought his first Nay as he couldn’t afford buying a whole set.

By the age of 19, he bought his first set of 12 bamboo flutes\nays and joined his local church choir band. And because Nay players are quite rare in comparison to other instruments (yes, even in Egypt itself!) the word spread quickly to other church communities and Nad started playing in more and more church choirs around Egypt. In his last year before coming to Australia, Nad was playing in 12 different church bands.

A NEW LIFE IN AUSTRALIA

In 2007, Nad moved to Australia. And for the first few years, he couldn’t find his audience. With such an ancient and cultural instrument, it wasn’t an easy start for him to pick up the music from where he left it in Egypt. Due to the nature of his instrument, with such earthy haunting sounds, Nad started playing as a solo musician in meditation and relaxation retreats, spiritual setups and festivals. He became a regular guest in Mind.Body.Spirit and played in Sydney and Brisbane every year. His style and brand was known as ‘The Sacred Whispers’ of the Nay.

It wasn’t until 2014 that Nad started pursuing music at a whole new level, trying to reclaim the Nay’s original position in middle eastern folk music. He then started a new band with other talented musicians and belly dancers, known as; House of Maqam, solely focused on traditional middle eastern folk and classical music. For 2 years, Nad played with HoM, one gig after the other – until one day, he met Sako Dermenjian. They both played together in HoM for a while, but then, due to unfortunate circumstances, House of Maqam came to an end!

In late 2015, Nad and Sako decided to start their own duet, EGYPSY. They combined the classical and contemporary sounds of the guitar with the ancient and haunting sounds of the Nay to create this great fusion of middle eastern European mix as their own signature. And that was how EGYPSY was initially born.

Atif Badria is a Syrian musician, a true master of purcussion and an amazing Darabuka player. He knows how play all sorts of drums in a way that no one would dare to play. He started playing on the darabuka when he was 10. Soon after, and during his teenage years, Atif started playing professionally. 

At the age of 19 (this is the rest of Nad's Bio that you need to change to Atif)

A NEW LIFE IN AUSTRALIA

In 2007, Nad moved to Australia. And for the first few years, he couldn’t find his audience. With such an ancient and cultural instrument, it wasn’t an easy start for him to pick up the music from where he left it in Egypt. Due to the nature of his instrument, with such earthy haunting sounds, Nad started playing as a solo musician in meditation and relaxation retreats, spiritual setups and festivals. He became a regular guest in Mind.Body.Spirit and played in Sydney and Brisbane every year. His style and brand was known as ‘The Sacred Whispers’ of the Nay.

It wasn’t until 2014 that Nad started pursuing music at a whole new level, trying to reclaim the Nay’s original position in middle eastern folk music. He then started a new band with other talented musicians and belly dancers, known as; House of Maqam, solely focused on traditional middle eastern folk and classical music. For 2 years, Nad played with HoM, one gig after the other – until one day, he met Sako Dermenjian. They both played together in HoM for a while, but then, due to unfortunate circumstances, House of Maqam came to an end!

In late 2018, Nad, Sako and Atif decided turn EGYPSY into a trio band. Together, they put all their skills, instruments and talents to create one of the most entertaining music fusions in Australia. And a new star was born, known as EGYPSY Trio.

Sako Dermenjian is an Armenian classical guitarist, born and raised in Syria, now based in Australia.

He was given his first guitar at the age of 7 as a gift from his grandmother and it hasn’t left him since. And when he left Syria at the age of 17, the guitar became one of the few constants over the next few years of Sako’s life.

After studying with the great Mazen Al-Saleh for 9 years in Damascus, Sako was already on the path of achieving his dream to become a world-renowned classical guitarist and teacher. Then war broke out and changed his plans.​

A NEW LIFE IN AUSTRALIA

On arrival in Australia a few years later Sako was forced to re-think the direction of his music. The intensity of war had left him with a sense of urgency to make the most of his life. He was eager to start a-new at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, but again plans were delayed when he learned he needed an extra qualification in order to gain admission. He would have to call on all those years of patience and dedication that made him the guitarist he is today.

NEW SCHOOL, NEW FRIENDS, NEW DIRECTIONS

Studying a Diploma of Music at TAFE Illawarra with teacher Michael Barkl turned out to be a year full of exploration and growth for Sako. It allowed him to discover different parts of himself musically and take his playing in new directions. His music gave him a way to participate more in the community and it wasn’t long before people started to notice him.

One gig led to another and in 2016 he was invited to perform for the Lord Mayor at the Wollongong Australia Day awards dinner. Later that year he was invited to play in front of a global audience at TEDx Wollongong and talk about his journey under the theme It’s about time.

In 2017 Sako was finally accepted into a Bachelor of Performance in classical guitar at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. After being completely self-taught for the last five years, he is studying now with his teacher Vladimir Gorbach.

He is ready for the next journey with his guitar.

Sako plays a Jayson Elazzi Cedar top classical guitar.