Omar Souleyman Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto ON, June 20

Omar Souleyman Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto ON, June 20
Photo: Stephen McGill
7
The growing international acclaim for a middle-aged Syrian singer 20 years into his recording career and whose popularity at home rests on songs performed at weddings in Kurdish and Arabic may seem a bit confounding, but on Friday night at Yonge-Dundas Square Omar, Souleyman proved that irresistible dance grooves are a universal language. Accompanied by a single keyboardist, Souleyman performed several songs from 2013's Four Tet-produced Wenu Wenu, using clipped interjections and subtle hand gestures to lead the audience in clapping and dancing along. Souleyman left after 35 minutes without saying anything more than "thank you" and "bye bye," but that mattered little. Souleyman's music's got a good beat, and you can dance to it.