Sari Alesh debuted his new band at a fundraiser last week and will play again at his upcoming fundraiser on April 28. Alesh played with the National Orchestra in Syria and since coming to Canada has expanded his repertoire to include everything from Cape Breton fiddle music to rock n’ roll hits. (Photo provided)

Syrian violinist plays with new Canadian band at upcoming fundraiser

Sari Alesh played with the Symphony Orchestra in Syria for six years

When Sari Alesh came to Canada three years ago as a refugee from Syria he didn’t know where life would take him.

Alesh started working at École Victor Brodeur as a substitute music teacher in March after a year of studying academic English at the University of Victoria.

Since then he has decided to go back to school to pursue a teaching degree in order to become a full time elementary teacher. His courses begin next month.

READ ALSO: Sooke group applies to sponsor a second refugee family

“I’m so glad this year I have a clear plan, which is a big difference. I was really confused last year about what I should do and now I have a step by step plan,” says Alesh.

Alesh has a Bachelors of Music degree and played with Symphony Orchestra in Syria for six years before leaving the country and has been using his talents to support various causes on the Island. Playing in a fundraiser for the Harbour of Hope Refugee Assistance Society just last week, Alesh is hosting another fundraising concert on April 28 at the St. Phillips Anglican Church.

READ ALSO: Buget bill would tighten loophole that encourages irregular border-crossing

“The biggest problem right now is the funds because studying at the university is really expensive,” he says. “This is the reason I’m doing this fundraiser concert now and hopefully I will be able to reach my dream.”

With Alesh playing violin, he will be joined by Wilf Davies on keyboards, Barrie Hughes on bass and mandolin, and Dave Conway on guitar, as well as Sherry Williams on vocals and other special guests.

Playing everything from Arabic to American pop, Alesh does it all. Since being in Canada the violinist discovered Irish Celtic music and says it’s his new found favourite, very different from the emotional ballads he was used to.

“I had never heard Celtic music before but I found it very very interesting,” he says. “This kind of music is very happy and makes people dance.”

The Sari Alesh and Friends fundraiser is Sunday, April 28 at 7 p.m. at St. Philip Anglican Church in Oak Bay.

Tickets are available at eventbrite.ca.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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