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Salar Salman (1959), an exceptional musician and composer, was born in Kirkuk, a city in Kurdistan — the North of Iraq. As a young boy he was famed in his village for his rich and warm voice. When he develloped his talent as a guitar player he was seen as one of the best guitar players from North Iraq. As his fingers found a way to accompany his moving voice, he was able to share his songs with a broader audience. Salar Salman's songs about love, tenderness and soreness affected many people and delivered him the nickname 'Santana of Kurdistan'. Unanswered love, hidden love, lost love, failing love — his lyrics resonated with his peers in their integrity and honesty. But it was not only his new way of storytelling that moved many; the way he composed music was something new. Moving away from the more traditional, folkloric, often monotonous sound, his melodies moved freely. Inspired by Afro-Western sounds from the 70’s and 80’s, like jazz, psychedelic rock or flamenco, he was able to give a new meaning to his own musical heritage and to create an alternative sound that is still influencing younger generations of Iraqi Kurdish musicians today.