Nai Barghouti is a singer, composer, and flautist from Ramallah, a city some 20 kilometres north of Jerusalem and the administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority. She’s studied in the US and Amsterdam as well as Jerusalem, but it’s her homeland that continues to infuse her music with its wistful spirit. Tonight, she plays and sings alongside Khalil Khoury, an award-winning composer and qanun player, also from Palestine.

The two artists bring us an eclectic programme in the first of two concerts at The Hub. Barghouti kicks off covering a song by Sabreen, a Palestinian Arabic contemporary group who blend traditional Arab and Middle Eastern music with global musical influences. Barghouti’s voice immediately proves wonderfully expressive. She later sings an evocative Eastern Christian hymn accompanied by Khoury. Both musicians then play a couple of beautiful pieces composed by Khoury: the sumptuous Story of Jerusalem and a luscious sweeping piece that gives the qanun its full rein, simply called Khalil’s Piece.

Both artists are stunningly talented. Barghouti has an incredible vocal range and breath control that makes her soaring octaves seem effortless. At the opening of the concert, she promises us music to inspire all of our emotions and she doesn’t disappoint. Khoury creates such complex melodies on this single instrument that you wouldn’t be surprised if there were a secret string quartet lurking in the wings.

But the true magic comes when Barghouti unleashes a technique she dubs ‘naistrumentation’. Treating her voice as an instrument, she serves up a sort of classically-inspired scat, a string of syllables with which she creates an ornately complex tune. Her first offering is a self-penned acoustic tribute to Bach which is clearly inspired by her heritage and yet, it’s Bach – and she’s singing it! It’s remarkable!

Their closing piece sees her using a similar technique, this time accompanied by Khoury, to sing us an elaborately complex, helter-skelter Ottoman folk song. It’s a fittingly joyous end to a thrilling performance.