Hakki Obadia

stage name of Heskel Haron Obadia
1924 or 1928-2004

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A Hakki for our time: Yoni Battat

Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

Hakki Obadia is an accomplished musician, born in Baghdad (no date available), who plays violin and ‘ud (Middle Eastern lute). At an early age, Obadia was trained in both Western classical and Middle Eastern music. Starting his career in Baghdad, he moved to the United States and studied at the University of California, Berkley, in the 1940s. Earning a music degree, he taught for thirty years in public schools on Long Island, New York. In the 1950s and onwards, he was active in the Arab musical life of New York City, playing in night clubs and in recording studios. He performed with Eddie Kocha…

Hakki Obadia Discography  

Strictly Belly Dancing Vol. 2

When Eddie [Kochak] met Hakki Obadia, it was an artistic phenomenon as the Easterner from Baghdad collaborated with the Westerner from Brooklyn. Hakki, while lesser known in the East Coast, continued to have a loyal following in the Middle East and on the West Coast. He was not only the founder of the first Symphony Orchestra of Baghdad, but the concertmaster as well. His devotion to classical (Western) and Arabic music is legendary. He became assistant conductor with the symphony orchestra at the University of California [Berkeley], where he studied music and composition under the noted American composer, Roger Sessions, and the late internationally famous Ernest Bloch. Hakki has thought many students both in Baghdad and California. Considered by many critics a "genius," Hakki is the master of the Oud, Piano, Guitar, and Mandolin. Eddie's and Hakki's collaboration give the dancer an exciting sound, while also containing enough moods for a spell-binding performance. The music features complete cabaret routines, as well as more unique and specialized music such as Dervish, Sudani, Pharaonic, Beledi, amongst others.

Classical Music of the Middle East Recorded 1969. Obadia plays via multitrack recordings: violin, viola, oud, and percussion
Hakki Obadia Iraqi Jewish and Iraqi Music  
Reference to Eddie Kochak interview in March/April 2007 issue of Zaghareet  
  Taqsim Viola Maqam Rast
YouTube--Lots and lots! Eddie Kochak & Hakki Obadia: "Jazz in Port Said (Bossa Nova Araby)"
  Eddie "The Sheik" Kochak with Hakki Obadia and the Amer-Arabic Orchestra - Ripples of the Nile
  Miserlou......Arrac-Laham Mishwee & thou Eddie "The Sheik" Kochak & Hakki Obadia Orchestra
  Hakki Obadia and Joseph Sugar - Cha Cha Baba
YouTube: Arrangement by Hakki Obadia "Longa." arranged by Hakki Obadia: Middle Eastern Rondo Greek Church WMHS Chamber Orchestra performance Nov. 2014

Arab America, 6/17/2020, Greater Syrian Diaspora at 78 RPM: Eddie "The Sheik" Kochak, by Richard Breaux

February 22, 1947: Alexandria, Egypt to NYC manifest of Heskel Obadia from Baghdad, Iraq, bound for UC Berkeley

June 15, 1951
: UC Berkeley Commencement Book: Heskel Haron Obadia, Bachelor of Music

September 7, 1955
: Heskel Haron Obadia Naturalization card
Born: Jan. 15, 1924

April 4, 1957: Heskel Obadia and Rebecca Musaffi Marriage License index.
Obadia signature similar to Naturalization card.

April 18, 1957: New York City:
Obadia weds Rebecca Musaffi April 13.

March 5, 1959: Caravan

March 19, 1959
: Detroit, Mich. Hafli: Kahraman and M. El-Bakkar, Accom. by Jalil Azzouz, Jack Ghanaim and Heskel Obadia

June 10, 1960
: The State, Columbia, South Carolina
The finest Arabic artists will entertain: Joe Budway, oudist; Amer Kadaj, singer; Mohammed El Akkad, anoonist; Hakki Obadia, violinist, and Eddie Koury, derbekke.

September 21, 1962: The Times Record, Troy, NY:

March 31, 1963: Chicago Tribune:
Hellenic-Near East Music Festival with music from Greece, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Armenia, and elsewhere.

December, 1963: Music, Catalog of Copyright Entries, p1650
RIPPLES OF THE NILE: Eddie Kochak, pseud. of Edward Kochakji, & Hakki Obadia (Heskel H. Obadia)

May 7, 1964: The Indianapolis News
Kochak and Obadia first got together in 1953, and over the last decade they have been leaders in the development of Amer-Abic music....

May 9, 1964
: The Troy Record
Hakki Obadia, founder of the Baghdad First Symphony Orchestra

August 19, 1965: San Antonio Express
Violinist and composer Fred Elias; pianist Hakki Obadia

April 24, 1966
: The Los Angeles Times
Eddie "The Sheik" Kochak & Hakki Obadia Orchestra; Soubhi Kochak & Hakki Obadia Ensemble.

January 30, 1967
:The Bridgeport Post
Arabic entertainment will be provided by Emil Kassis, Eddie Kochak and Hakki Obadia.

September 21, 1967
: Jersey Journal, New Jersey
The Oriental program will feature entertainment by Mohammed Akkad, Hakki Obadia, Edward Esso and Tony Abdelahad...

October 6, 1967
: Jersey Journal, New Jersey
the program will be Mohammed Akkad, Hakki Obadia, Edward Esso, Kahraman, Sambra and Tony Abdelahad...

June 28, 1969: Asbury Park Press

July 12, 1969
: Asbury Park Press
The famous musicians Mohamed Elakkad and Hakki Obadia

July 25, 1969
: Asbury Park Press
Samir Tawil and his ensemble, featuring violinist Hakki Obadia and Saul Betsch on derbeca

August 29, 1969:
The Bridgeport Post, Connecticut
Entertainers scheduled to appear during the three-day program include
Hanaan; Sammy; Mohamad El Akkael; Hakki Obadia; George Hamway; John Nazarian and John Hyder.

March 17, 1970
: Wilkes Barre Times Leader, The Evening News
Tony Abedelahad, oud (lute) and vocalist; Hakki O'Badia, violinist and Ron Kirby, derbecki (drum)

April 2, 1970
: Wilkes Barre Times Leader, The Evening News, Wilkes Barre Record
covalist, Tony Abedelahad on the lute or "oud" as it is called in Arabic...; Hakki O'Badia, violin, and Ron Kirby, drums or "derbecki"

March 1, 1972
: Wilkes Barre Times Leader; The Evening News
Tony Abelahad, lutist and singer; Hakki Obadia, violinist and Ronnie Kirby, percussionist.

August 25, 1972
: The Lowell Sun
Laurice Peters, vocalist; Walid Shaker, oud player and singer; Hakki Obadia, violinist

September 7, 1973
: The Record
Arabic entertainment will be by Tony Abdelahad, who sings and plays the oud, a mandolin like instrument; Mohammed El Accad, on the kanoon or zither;
violinist Hakki Obadia, and drummer Ronald Kirby, a drummer who plays the derbekee.

August 27, 1974
: The Record, Bergen County, New Jersey
Arabic entertainment will be by Kahramam, billed as 'the nightingale of the Middle East;"
Tony Abdelahad, who sings and plays the oud, a mandolin like instrument; Mohammed Ell Accad, on the kanoon or zither;
vocalist Hakki Obadia, and drummer Ronald Kirby, who plays the derbekee.

August 22, 1976
: Marietta Journal, Georgia
Among the musicians are Shamia Azad and Angelo Ferrero on drums, Gus Vail and Souren Baronian on clarinet, Hakki Obadia on violin,
Haig Manoukian on oud, John Valentine on guitar, tambur and zurna and Chet Amsterdam on bass.

August 30, 1976
: The Record
Entertainment by Hanaan, Tony Abdelahad, Hakki Obadia, and Ronnie Kirby

1983 Yearbook
: Ward Melville High School, where Obadia was on the faculty and did arrangements

July 6, 1983
: Nanaimo Daily News
Marjorie Koers will add violin solos, a melody from Thais, for its Egyptian content, as well as Chanson by Rudolf Friml,
and some Near East melodies of northern Africa, Ya Elbee, Balady Hillow, Elf Laila,
melodies which were composed by Eddie (The Sheik) Kochak and Hakki Obadia.

May 7, 1990: Daily News, NY

September 2, 1990, New York Times, Ethnic Groups in Jewish Arts Spotlight, by Barbara Delatiner

Similarly, a chance visit to an East Side nightclub enabled Ms. [Rebecca] Miller to meet Mr. Obadia, an Iraqi-Jewish violinist and oud, or lute, player, and make inroads into the close-knit Syrian-Iraqi community.

"The music is Arabic, performed on the violin, kanun [or plucked zither] and various percussion instruments. The lyrics include 'pizmonim,' or 'songs of praise,' that are in Hebrew and from the liturgy. Hakki is Iraqi-Jewish. The vocalist, Saul Betesh, is Syrian-Jewish, the kanun player is Lebanese and the drummer is Syrian.

"Do I anticipate any problems, given the current international situation? Well, last spring when the group did a Jewish festival in Staten Island, some people were offended by the Arab music. But we didn't program them to shock or make people feel uncomfortable. Rather, we wanted to be optimistic, to show how people can live together and appreciate each other's cultures."

August 2, 1991: The Daily News, New York

August 4, 1991:
Daily News
Brooklyn-born musician Eddie Kochak and Hakki Obadia team up for a celebration of Middle Eastern music

U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007
Name:  Heskel Haron Obadia
[Heskel H Obadia]
Gender:           Male
Race:   White
Birth Date:     4 Apr 1928
Birth Place:    Baghdad, Iraq
Death Date:    26 May 2004
Father: Haron Obadia
Mother:           Mozli Elias
SSN:    563441960
Notes:  Jul 1950: Name listed as HESKEL HARON OBADIA; 02 Jul 1985: Name listed as HESKEL H OBADIA

Source Information: Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007.

Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current
Name:  Heskel Obadia
Death Date:     27 May 2004
Cemetery:        New Montefiore Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:      West Babylon, Suffolk County, New York, United States of America

New Montefiore Cemetery, West Babylon, NY

January 6, 2019: New York Times Eddie Kochakji obituary

Jewish Role in Iraqi Music
by Yeheskel Kojaman

On the Banks of the Tigris – a documentary that traces the forgotten history of Iraqi music

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