Nashaz - Arabic Jazz Band with oud, saxophone, trumpet, frame drum


Arabic oud & Jazz in Brooklyn NY

Nashaz finds unexpected kinship between jazz and Arabic music, playing original music that stays true to the maqam tradition of the middle east while keeping the spontaneous interplay and energy of jazz at the forefront.

Nashaz brings together the two musical traditions that I feel the deepest connection with: Arabic music and Jazz.  The variety of expression and sophistication, as well as the deep well of tradition and inspiration in these musics offer what to me are endless creative possibilities.  Here are some videos of various live performances. If you enjoy the music, please consider supporting us by purchasing our album on bandcamp via the link above.


Over the years, we've been fortunate to have had some great musicians be a part of Nashaz.  Myself (Brian Prunka) on Oud and Kenny Warren on trumpet have remained constant throughout, but I'd like to thank the many musicians who have helped create this music, especially Nathan Herrera (saxophone, bass clarinet, flute), Apostolos Sideris (bass), George Mel (percussion), Vin Scialla (percussion), Reuben Radding (bass), Matt Darriau (woodwinds), Philip Mayer (percussion), Dan Kurfirst (drums) and John Murchison (bass and qanun).  



The eponymous debut for Nashaz fully realizes the band’s vision of a organic new integration of jazz and Arabic music, with tastes of Sudan, the Balkans, and Central Asia. Featuring 8 original compositions by the band’s leader, oud player Brian Prunka, the album will immediately engage fans of Arabic music, jazz, and masterful oud playing. Trumpeter Kenny Warren makes abundantly clear why he is a rising star in the NY creative jazz scene, his improvisations showing a rare range and depth, exploring a wide variety of tones while always maintaining a beautifully full and warm sound. Prunka’s melodies are intricate yet memorable, don’t be surprised if you can’t stop yourself humming them later.

Review Quotes:

"One of the best new Arabic Jazz CD's I have heard in 10 years" —Ray Rashid, Rashid Music (America's largest distributor of Arabic music since 1934)

"A vibrant fusion of Arabic music and jazz, Nashaz is at times mysterious, at times racing, always fresh and adventurous. Highly recommended." —Midwest Book Review (

"Sounds unlike anything else. . . as listenable as it is engaging. Strong melodies that are both memorable and easy to hum along to . . . will leave the listener wanting more. Highly Recommended." —Dave Sumner, Bird Is the Worm blog (

"Wild, engaging stuff that simply clicks . . . a must" —Midwest Record

"Nashaz has taken up the gauntlet and run with it. Lyrical and poetic . . . there is an authenticity of this music that can only come with an intimate experience of tradition and culture. An impressive accomplishment." Dawoud Kringle, DooBeeDooBeeDoo Online Magazine (

"The music is fascinating . . . excellent throughout." Rick Anderson, CD Hotlist (

"My new go-to disc . . . It's got under my skin!" —Alistair Johnston, Misikifan blog (
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    Ajam 5:45