In this opportunity we are going to discover an incredible and talented musician from Tunisia: his name is Dhafer Youssef and he is here to show the world a unique combination of Mediterranean, Jazz, Ethnic and Rock music. How is such a mixture of elements possible? How can these different genres converge into one artistic expression? Dhafer is ready to show us how a diverse and rich multi cultural influence can work magic in a growing musician during his entire life.
Since he comes from a long line of muezzins (those in charge of performing the call to pray through their voices), his formation was intended to follow this direction. However, Dhafer wanted to explore other elements besides the traditional music role he was being taught, and he found in his mother’s radio the source for new music and inspiration that released his artistic capabilities. Dhafer Youssef is a gifted musician with a natural vocal talent that he turned into an instrument in its own right! Additional to this, he is an accomplished Oud player, which is the Arabian lute.
Dhafer’s music has been going through constant evolution since the moment he decided to take his learning to a new level. He moved to Vienna, Austria pursuing a degree in musicology to discover that his artistic ambitions shifted towards the path of jazz and eastern music. Jamming with many fellow musicians and playing diverse genres, he fully develops his ideas and experience into his first album Malak in 1998.
Mediterranean rhythms and melodic jazz lines is what Dhafer offers in this album, creating the perfect balance between western and eastern influences and his own identity as an emerging artist at the moment. Songs like Tarannoum explores Dhafer’s vocal range and Oriental influences, Kind of Love, L’Enfant du Sable or Derballah experiments with Spanish, Arabian and Jazzy elements in an innovative way.
In the following years Dhafer Youssef released five other albums that went deeper into the fusion of elements. Man of Wool from Electric Sufi exhibits the jazz-fusion side of Dhafer; Flowing Water from Digital Prophecy is one refined version of Youssef’s music, beautiful soundscape to delight the listener; La Prière de l’absent connects us with the classic Jazz standards from the cool era, combined with oriental melodies; Odd Poetry from the Divine Shadows album is another masterpiece of Jazz, Rock and Mediterranean flavor. In his following albums there are amazing songs like Birds Canticum which is the opening track from Birds Requiem, his most recent album, released in 2013.
Dhafer Youssef has grown in popularity during his long career thanks to his personal approach to Oriental music and how he combines it with diverse musical tendencies like Jazz music, which is one of Dhafer’s heaviest influences. His talent as a vocal artist got him the opportunity to play with musicians like the legendary Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter in the All-Star Global Concert on International Jazz Day 2015. Dhafer’s music gives you the experience to enjoy a refined combination of genres, creating a new soundscape in every song.
Dhafer’s new album released September 16th, 2016: Diwan of Beauty and Odd was recorded in the popular Sear Sound Studio in New York and released through Sony Music, and in his own words it is “the love of living”! Watch a short documentary about the creation of this album.
Stay tuned to enjoy the incredible art of Dhafer Youssef!