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Guy Schalom - percussion (and dancer)

Percussionist, dancer and record producer Guy Schalom was described by fROOTS magazine as "one of the most versatile and interesting percussionists working in the UK today". Born in Israel to an Egyptian Jewish family, he is currently based in London and has nearly 25 years' experience in a range of musical idioms. Guy's broad experience allows him to move effortlessly between performing percussion solos in large-scale productions such as Riverdance (Royal Albert Hall) and Peterloo Overture (Barbican) to leading his own jazz and world music ensembles.

In the field of Jewish music, Guy Schalom has performed with international recording artists Frank London, The Klezmatics and David Krakauer to name a few. He tours with the 14-piece super group the Other Europeans and is a founding member of the pan-European Klezmer Alliance, Ukrainian village brass band Konsonans Retro, London twisters the Yiddish Twist Orchestra and brand new Mediterranean klezmer funk band - HAMSA.

An accomplished Klezmer dancer, Guy can often be seen leading Klezmer Keilidhs and Yiddish Barn dances throughout Europe. He has worked as Yiddish Dance consultant for ITV and co- directs Hopkele Productions – presenting interactive Jewish Dance events with live klezmer music to new audiences. Specialising in Egyptian music, Guy Schalom has performed with major Arabic recording artists Natacha Atlas, Mahmoud Fadl, Hijazy Metkal, Mussa el Kenawi, the Musicians of the Nile and dancers as diverse as Suraya Hilal and Jillina (Bellydance Superstars).

Leading his own group the Baladi Blues Ensemble, focussing on the improvised urban dance music of Egypt, Guy recently released his fourth solo album "Baladi Blues 3: The Art of Baligh Hamdi" to critical acclaim. The band's music was heavily featured in the popular BBC documentary Bellydancing and the Blues, which Guy himself presented.

During his travels to Luxor in Upper Egypt, Guy made a study of the Saiidi male folk dance style. Using a quarter-staff, this powerful dance tradition has its roots in the Egyptian combat dance known as "Takhteeb". Guy is one of the UK's few male practitioners of this authentic art form. Guy's website