Issam Houshan


The union of music and movement is the essence of dance. The union of a musician and a dancer to create a seamless artistic expression of oneness between the two is the ultimate manifestation of such a union. Issam Houshan is one of the rarest of talents as that is exactly what he does, Call him the Wassan Pharaoun, King Of The Drum, or Mr. Magic Fingers, and you only tell the half of it. It's his connection to the dancer that is the essence of his magic. It is a merging of egos serving a mutual and identical goal that few musicians ever master fully. Issam is now recognized as the ultimate master of this art. In the Bellydance Superstars, Issam has become a mentor, partner, and inspiration giving selflessly to the good of the troupe as a whole.

Issam was born in Syria and emigrated to the U.S. 24 years ago. He had formal music training in the Damascus Academy of Music and went on to drum for a host of Arab music stars and famous bellydancers. He is also the only remaining disciple of the legendary Arab drum master Mahmood Salahadeen. In the U.S. he performed with Sting on the Grammy's and with the Bellydance Superstars in over 400 shows in 16 countries. Issam's background, training and experience have made him in huge demand for drum tutorials and workshops. He does these both on his own and in conjunction with bellydance instructors especially Sonia.

Issam is featured in the film American Bellydancer, Solos From Monte Carlo, Bellydance Superstars, 30 Days To Vegas, Behind The Shimmy, and partners with Sonia on The Art Of The Drum Solo instructional DVD. His CD releases include his own Wassan Pharaoun, The Dancing Drum Vol. 1 & 2, and percussion on the Galactic Caravan albums.

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