Hadi Eldebek is an innovative, contemporary oudist based in New York City. In 2010, he joined the Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Hadi began his oud performance studies at the Lebanese National conservatory before moving to New York to continue his studies with master oud and violin player Simon Shaheen. In 2007-2008, Hadi joined the New York Arabic Orchestra at its launch. He expanded his musical ventures by joining the Brooklyn Philharmonic as composer for the 2012-2013 Outside-In Fellowship.
As an oudist, singer, and an emerging composer, Hadi has strived to perform with and lead dynamic collectives of musicians brought together by the shared joy of performing Arabic music interpreted through a contemporary and multi-genre/multi-ethnic perspective.
What do you do?
I play music (Arabic Oud mainly), I head The Brooklyn Nomads band, and I lead 2 startups, GrantPA and Circle World Arts. I do other things as well.
Why do you do what you do?
I have been immersed in the world of arts and culture and education for a long time, and have many ideas to share in this field. I also like the people and community I work with.
Which failure or apparent failure set you up for success?
Success is an interesting word. It’s malleable to me and depends on where I am today and context. How do you define success?
I think all experiences, in a way, bring an opportunity for growth and evolution. I failed many times in the past bringing a few projects to life. I am better at that now, and will be better at it tomorrow.
What is the best investment you have made in yourself?
Meditation, traveling, and staying in close touch with my family.
Has your career been planned or a function of serendipity?
Much of it is serendipity. After the serendipitous events occur, much planning begins.
What is the role of mentors in your life?
Guidance. Listening to you and sharing their experience with you. The best mentors in my opinion are those who guide you without interference, who are modest and understand that you are your own being.
What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?
Stay with your self, and get closer to it.
I am onto a few projects that am excited about. Am also in the process of creating systems that will reflect the experiences I went through and learnings I gained so far.