His CDs are outstanding highlights in the collections of numerous music lovers – genuine style icons, musically as well as visually. His magnificent and highly virtuoso world-music performances are the jewels of countless festivals and concerts. After a longer pause, his latest CD “The Flood and the Fate of the Fish” is now available on enja records.
Rabih Abou-Khalil is a crossover artist, effortlessly moving between the world of traditional Arabic music, European classical music and Free Jazz. The oud virtuoso and composer is a traveler between cultures. He was born in Lebanon and lives now, after a long stay in Germany, in France. Rabih Abou-Khalil blends Arabic, European and American music into a highly intelligent mix, far from any world-music trends. Never tuning out, keeping his spirit alert, always highly playful, his compositional skills at their peak, with a fair amount of humor, he succeeds in an unprecedented way in merging what are often viewed as contrary worlds.
Unsurprisingly he managed to gather illustrious names from the world of Jazz: The likes of Charlie Mariano, Kenny Wheeler or Joachim Kühn, as well as classical musicians: The Modern Ensemble, the Balanescu Quartet, the Kronos Quartet or the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has received the Jazz Award five times in one year as recognition of his musical contributions, and in 2002 he was given an honorary certificate for the German Record Critics Prize honoring his complete works.
His multi-faceted compositions integrate Arabic meters and tone scales as well as very distinctive improvisations. What emerges is an exhilarating new sound, deeply sensual, fascinatingly complex and of rousing virtuosity.
Congenial accompanists and long-time partners are the US-American Jarrod Cagwin on drums and percussion as well as the Italian accordionist Luciano Biondini.
Rabih Abou-Khalil, Oud
Luciano Biondini, Accordion
Jarrod Cagwin, Drums and Percussion