A fourth-generation musician, Hasan al-Ajami is one of the last masters of the classical music of Sana. A virtuoso on the qanbus (a Southern Yemenite lute with four strings) and a highly emotional singer, al-Ajami was described by Tower as having "a deeper, more staccato sound than the oud, and his playing is as rhythmic as it is melodic." A direct heir to influential Yemenite musicians of the '30s -- Salih Abdallah Al Antari and Ahmed "the Mouse" Fayie -- al-Ajami is a regular performer at the Sana bazaar, where businessmen gather to chew the hallucinogenic herb the qat. For many years, al-Ajami has been accompanied by Ahmed Ushaysh, one of the last singers schooled in the Yemeni oral tradition, and a master of sahn mimyeh (copper tambourine).
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