Al 'Azifoon (The Musicians) Al 'Azifoon performs classical and traditional Arabic music on traditional acoustic instruments.

Middle Eastern Classics

The Musicians of
Al 'Azifoon

Al 'Azifoon is an Arabic “Taht” -- a chamber group specializing in classical and traditional Arabic music.
Al 'Azifoon" in Arabic is a plural noun which literally means “The Instrumentalists.”

For more information about the musicians of Al ‘Azifoon, please visit their individual bio pages linked below.

Al ‘Azifoon was founded by Bay Area husband and wife musical partners Nathan Craver, oud, and Yosifah Rose Craver, qanun and vocals, in 2005. Nathan and Yosifah Rose are the "heart" of Al ‘Azifoon, and they continue to actively pursue Al ‘Azifoon's musical mission of promoting cross-cultural understanding, respect, and appreciation for Arabic music, dance, and culture through Al ‘Azifoon's musical performances as well as through community outreach concert/lectures, and educational programs in Contra Costa County and other San Francisco Bay Area libraries and schools.

Paul Ohanesian has been a core member of Al ‘Azifoon since 2007. Paul is a professional musician who plays Armenian, Turkish, and Arabic style oud as well as playing Middle Eastern percussion. Paul has been a key member of the Bay Area Middle Eastern music scene since the late 1970s. Although Paul travels frequently and also performs with a number of other musical groups, he continues to be a vital core member of Al ‘Azifoon's musical family.

Al 'Azifoon

Tim Bolling
-- a versatile professional percussionist who performs with a variety of different musical groups - in genres as varied as rock, blues, funk, R&B, reggae, and jazz - as well as World Music styles such as Middle Eastern, African, Latin, and Brazilian.
Tim Bolling.

In addition to the members noted above, Al ‘Azifoon has been fortunate to be supported by a roster of multi-talented percussionists throughout the years including Susie Goldstein, Susu Pampanin, Cynthia Rutherford, Mary Ellen Donald, Vince Delgado, and more, who are exceptionally accomplished professional musicians as well as vital members of the Middle Eastern music community of the Greater Bay Area.

Finally, we would be remiss if we did not express our warmest gratitude to our dear friends
Mark Bell and Ling Shien of the band Helm
with whom we have been honored to collaborate and perform with for many years.

We also thank Al 'Azifoon Alumnus, including Angela, Audrey, David, Hector, Niko, Sarah,
and most especially Zaid Ali who played with Al 'Azifoon as our lead percussionist for many, many years.
We wish Zaid continued success in his many endeavors.

We sincerely appreciate the contributions of the many musicians with whom Al 'Azifoon has performed with over the years since we began this beautiful musical journey in 2005.

Cynthia Rutherford -- a highly respected professional Middle Eastern percussionist and founder of the band Flowers of the Nile, based in Sacramento, CA.

Cynthia Rutherford performing with Al 'Azifoon, Rossmoor, CA, October 2011. Cynthia Rutherford, Professional Middle Eastern Percussionist

Mary Ellen Donald -- a nationally acclaimed author, teacher, and professional Middle Eastern percussionist based in Oakland, CA
(shown here with Terry Holgate, one of her former students and frequent musical partner).
Nathan Craver, Yosifah Rose, Mary Ellen Donald, Terry Holgate - performing at Bacheesos, Oakland, CA  November 2012.

Above photos by Scott Belding, Carl F. Sermon, Khalilah Samah, and Nathan Craver

Al 'Azifoon is now on Facebook and YouTube!

Al 'Azifoon with Zaid Ali
Al 'Azifoon performing 2010 at Sharifa's Creekside Studio Hafla with former lead percussionist Zaid Ali.

Yosifah Rose

~ Nathan Craver ~ Paul Ohanesian

Nathan Craver, Zaid Ali, and Paul Ohanesian relaxing after a Zaffa Wedding Processional performance in SF, CA, June 2010.

Contact ~ Al 'Azifoon Home Page ~ Upcoming Shows ~ SONG LIST