Issam Houshan


Issam Houshan – dubbed the “Wassan Pharaoun” (Pharaoh of Rhythm) with his “magic fingers.”  Born in Damascus, Syria, Issam had his formal music training at the Damascus Academy of Music and is also the only remaining disciple of the legendary Arab drum master Mahmood Salahadeen.  In 1990 Issam moved to the U.S and soon became the leading Arab drummer in the country.  Issam has worked with an impressive list of singers, musical groups and dancers, including Sting for his 2003 Grammy performance of “Desert Rose.”  That same year Issam joined the Bellydance Superstars as the solo percussionist, performing in 879 concerts, to over 1 million people, throughout 20 different countries.  During his extensive touring, Issam has also become recognized as one of the foremost teachers of the Arab drum.

Issam is featured many bellydance DVD’s including, American Bellydancer, Solos From Monte Carlo, Bellydance Superstars, 30 Days To Vegas, Behind The Shimmy, Introduction to the Middle Eastern Rhythms, Tribal Drum solo Choreography with Zoe and The Art Of The Drum Solo with Sonia.  His CD releases include, Tabla Ya Issam with Jillina, Wassan Pharaoun, The Dancing Drum Vol. 1, 2 & 3, Chemistry of the Drum, Mystery Of Rhythm, Damascus Belly Dance Orchestra and percussion on the Galactic Caravan albums.

You can view more about Issam on his personal web site: