Salah Ammo & Peter Gabis

Oriental World music Duo

„A melancholic Masterpiece, wide like the dessert, archaic and beautiful.“ Andreas Bovelinko, Kurier

„Profound, moving and great!“ Wolfgang Taschl, Concerto

Salah Ammo: Vocals, Bouzouk (Syria – Kurdistan)

Peter Gabis: Percussion, Hang, overtone singing (Austria)

It is people’s choice if they see cultural diversity as a threat or as an enrichment. It was not Salah Ammos choice to leave his home Syria because of the war, but he choose to get in touch with local musicians when he settled down in Vienna in 2013, to enrich his art, which is mostly shaped by the deep heritage of oriental music and poetry.


Peter Gabis was one of the first musicians Salah encountered in Vienna, and soon their musical cooperation was founded. A liaison that reflects the openness and the courage to combine different styles of many cultures and to find joyfully their common sound. This highly successful melange of two strong musical characters culminated in a firework of musical highlights. 18 month after their first common musical experience they reached 2014 the Finale of the „Austrian World Music Award“, and their Album „Assi“ was nominated for the Bestenliste of the renowned „Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik“. Many concerts followed, Salah and Peter performed together intensively on many renowned stages such as the Wiener Konzerthaus, Porgy & Bess (Vienna), MuTh (Vienna), Treibhaus (Innsbruck), World Museum Vienna, Rudolstadt Festival (Germany), Boyne Music Festival (Ireland) and even the European Parliament in Brussels, just to name a few. They performed at TEDx, and in 2015 they were invited to the “Voices for Refugees” concert and performed there for more than 60.000 people. The Duo was also involved in many artistic cooperations like the “Ad.agio” project with the world famous Wiener Symphoniker.

Their music is minimalistic and sensitive, Salahs voice is only accompanied by the Bouzouk (a syrian long-neck lute) and percussion. Besides classical oriental percussion Peter uses the Hang (a swiss sound sculpture) and sings overtones. This combination creates unusual but touching soundscapes and moods, the lyrics move the heart and even when the listeners don’t understand the language, the emotion is transported very well. The presentation of their music on stage is quite entertaining, without losing the deeper background of the meaning of the songs.

Salah Ammo is according to the review of the Austrian Music Export 2016 “one of the most celebrated musicians in the Austrian world music scene”. He was born in northeast of Syria, where Kurds, Arabs, Turks, Armenians and Assyrians have been living together for thousands of years, his music is inspired by their cultural and musical traditions. After graduating from the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus 2004 he taught at the Faculty of Music in Homs/Syria.

Peter Gabis is known as a steady sideman in the viennese Jazz- and Worldmusic scene. He studied jazz drums in Vienna and New York and played concerts and tours in Europe, USA, Australia, Asia and Africa. In recent years he intensively explored ethnic music from Afrika and Asia and worked on the perfection of overtone singing. He teaches jazz-drums and percussion at the Jam Music Lab University in Vienna.


A song from Album “Assi – a Story of a Syrian River”, Lyrics by the Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish, Music  by: Salah Ammo


Live performance at Boyne Music Festival, Ireland – Nahawand Maqam Improvisation.


Live performance at Sargfabrik Venue – Vienna