Yahya Salem comes from Baghdad, where he took his first musical steps with the help of his father, the conductor, composer, and ud virtuoso Salem Abdul Karem. Yahya has been developing his talent and great love for the ud since he was seven. He studied music and ud at the conservatory in Baghdad, and later composition in Istanbul. In addition to finding inspiration in Arabic music, Yahya is strongly influenced by Western composers – from Beethoven and Bach to Dvořák and Paganini. That makes for a particularly striking and hybrid style. We hear the East, but then liberally spiced with Western classical, jazz, flamenco, country, and even a touch of rock ‘n roll.