Dhafer Youssef is a Tunisian Oud player, vocalist and composer born in November 19th, 1967 in Teboulba. Descendent of a modest family from this Center-eastern fishing village, he comes from a long line of muezzins. For him mastering vocal performances is a heritage.
At an early age, his grandfather initiated him to quranic recitals. Thus, he started discovering the potential of his voice. He found his vocation.Far from the quranic school bunches and from his grandfather’s hard discipline, Dhafer Youssef tested his voice singing the songs played on his mother radio set. Far from rigorist methods, His mother’s kitchen became his first experimental laboratory. At the age of 6 years old, he discovered inside these walls the echo of his voice and its resonances. He remembers spending hours singing in the Hammam of the local village. The resonances produced by his voice in that cavernous place fascinated him. It nourished his ardent juvenile curiosity. This is how the young Dhafer discovered his favored toy.
Moved by the child beautiful voice, the local muezzin encouraged him to record his call to prayer for the village’s mosque on a tape. Dhafer youssef undertook the task using cheap plastic microphone.His voice flowed from the top of the minaret. Its resonances strengthened. It was his first encounter with his first audience, a memorable experience that he will never forget despite his eight albums and hundreds of live performances all over the world.
A few years later, Dhafer Youssef joined the local Liturgical singing troupe as a vocalist. However this experience did not last long because of the progressive politicization of the group’s activities. Far from the places of worship, He now exercises on playing Oud at the youth center in Teboulba. This is where he discovered the electric bass. This new orientation led him to play at the local village weddings before joining Radio Monastir’s singing troupe.The young Dhafer was chosen to join the orchestra by its founder, Mesbah Souli. The latter was a violin player, member of the Tunisian National Troupe and music professor.
Willing to explore new horizons, Dhafer Youssef left his home village for the capital.In Tunis, he joined the musical conservatory at Nahj Zarkoun. Dissatisfied with the quality of teaching, he left Tunisia for Austria with the ambition to complete his musical training. The creative exaltation provided by multiculturalism in Vienne opened for him the gate of a new world with various possibilities. He made multiple encounters. After he’s started musical studies, he realized that he was not interested in academic training anymore.
Seduced by Jazz and other musical genres such as Indian music, he multiplied Jam sessions and encounters at different bars and clubs playing live music until he met Gerhard Reiter.It is along with this Austrian percussionist that he formed his first band “Zeryab”.In 1996, his multiple discoveries and experiences in Vienne gave birth to his first album “Musafer” (The Traveler, in Arabic). This album was the result of an atypical encounter with Anton Burger, Achim Tang, Jatinder Thakur and Otto Leichner. He presents his project to Porgy & Bess, a renowned Viennese club. After a successful first night at the club, he is offered a carte blanche and starts a series of monthly concerts. Over the concerts, Dhafer gains in maturity. The confirmation comes with the release in 1998 of “Malak” under the Label Enja Records.
Along with the European jazz melodic structures, the Mediterranean groove takes a particular form. This marks the beginning of an authentic musical identity which is impregnated with the artist origins without getting into typical Orientalism. Accompanied by Nguyen Lê on guitar, Markus Stockhausen on trumpet, Achim Tang on Bass and Patrice Heral on Drums, he was propelled towards an international career. Acclaimed by the critics, he successfully went on a tour over Europe before going back to studios with a new project. In 2001, he recorded “Electric Sufi” his second album with Enja Records. For this project, he collaborated with Wolfgang Muthspiel (guitar), Markus Stockhausen (trumpet), Deepak Ram (bansuri), Dieter Ilg (bass), Mino Cinelu (percussion), Rodericke Packe (electronics) as well as Will Calhoun (drums) and Doug Wimbish (bass). The sound mixture was exalting.
A result of his interest for his vocal undulations and the resonances of sounds, the jazz music in “Electric Sufi” was an opportunity for Dhafer Youssef to experiment new things with his voice and to use it as an instrument. The musical alloy has strenghtned during a second inspiring tour.
Back in the studios, Dhafer Youssef records “Digital Prophecy” in 2003. The search of new sonorities intensifies and the result is exhilarating. The symbiosis between the Oud and electric sonorities is more natural. The alchemy operates between great artists from the electro-jazz Scandinavian scene.These artists are trumpet player Nils Petter Molvaer, pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, Guitar player Eivind Aarset, electric bass player Auden Erlien and Drum player Rune Arnesen. This great sound ascension gave Dhafer Youssef music more height. He was nominated too times in 2003 and 2006 for the BBC awards for world music.
After these unlikely encounters between Oud and electronic music, Dhafer Youssef set himself a new challenge which consisted in introducing more string instruments to his creative universe.This surrealist equation resolved with the release of “Divine Shadows” in 2005. The sound is resolutely thrilling without losing its ethereal aspect. Spiritualism is asserted manifesting itself without any complex and far from stereotypes. The album was marked by the arrival of Arve Henriksen and Marilyn Mazur together with the road companions Eivind Aarset, Audun Erlien, Rune Arnesen.
After Djalal Eddine Rûmi, El-hallaj and other Sufi philosophers and poets, Dhafer Youssef took his inspiration from Abu Nawas Texts. The latter was a Persian poet from the VII century renowned for his odes to wine. Released in 2010, “Abu Nawas Rhapsody” is the artists 6th album. It is also a musical manifesto which removes the barriers between the notions of sacred and profane. Accompanied with pianist Tigran Hamasyan, drummer Mark Giuliana and Double Bass player Chris Jennings, Dhafer Youssef goes back in his album “Abu Nawas Rhapsody” to a more Jazzy and groovy style.Dhafer Youssef’s powerful voice is introduced subtly before starting a vigorous fusion with the instruments. Without forgetting the artistic identity that he forged through his experience and permanent search for sonorities, Dhafer Youssef carries on in transcending genres. In 2011, he invites clarinetist Hüsnü Senlendirici and Kanun player Aytaç Dogan for a performance in Ludwigsbourg-Germany.
In 2013 and inspired by this encounter, Dhafer Youssef offers to the public his latest creation “Birds requiem”. Constructed as movie music, this new album is a very personal album that has been prepared at a turning point of the artist life. In this album, Dhafer Youssef’s voice accompanies Hüsnü Senlendirici‘s clarinet and Aytaç Dogan’s Kanun. He resumes his collaboration with guitar player Eivind Aarset,Trompetist Nils Petter Molvaer, pianist Kristjan Randalu, Double bass player Phil Donkin and drum player Chander Sardjoe, thus creating a jazzy atmosphere.
(Source : http://www.dhaferyoussef.com )
Dhafer Youssef,nome completo Dhafer bin Youssef bin Tahar Maarref ,(Teboulba, 1967), è un musicista e cantante tunisino.
Dhafer Youssef è nato a Teboulba, in Tunisia, ed ha vissuto e lavorato in diversi paesi d'Europa fin dal 1990. Durante questo periodo ha avuto la possibilità di esibirsi in Austria, Francia, Germania, Svizzera, Regno Unito, Italia (dove ha avuto occasione di suonare con personaggi del calibro di Markus Stockhausen e Paolo Fresu) nonché nella natia Tunisia, dove cominciò a cantare all'età di 5 anni.
Le radici della musica di Dhafer Youssef affondano nella tradizione Sufi e nella musica mistica, tuttavia egli è sempre stato aperto alla musica di altre culture e al jazz. Dhafer Yussef costituisce una delle espressioni più importanti sulla scena musicale attraverso il suono dell'oud, il liuto arabo dal quale riesce a trarre composizioni complesse improntate alla tradizione araba. Il suo primo album Malak incorpora il lirismo arabo, la potenza ritmica, la forza della visione e l'improvvisazione contaminata da influenze multiculturale e jazzistiche; in questo modo Dhafer Youssef ha aperto la strada ad una nuova modalità di apprezzare le contaminazioni Oriente-Occidente.
I lavori di Dhafer Youssef hanno avuto nomine per importanti premi. Con il suo gruppo ha registrato quattro album. È stato artista ospite del musicista jazz norvegese Bugge Wesseltoft nell'album FiLM iNG.
(Fonte : Wikipedia)
Dhafer Youssef ظافر يوسف - Malak
04 Kind Of Love
05 Jito And Tato
07 Frag Habibe
08 L'enfant Du Sable
09 L'ange Aveugle
Dhafer Youssef ظافر يوسف - Electric Sufi
01 Mandakini (05:10)
02 Yabay (03:17)
03 Electric Sufi (04:57)
04 Oil On Water (02:45)
05 La Priere De L’absent (06:44)
06 Man On Wool (07:05)
07 La Nuit Sacree (06:26)
08 Nouba (06:48)
09 Farha (05:36)
10 Nafha (05:27)
11 Al-Hallaj (03:21)
12 Suraj (06:17)
13 Langue Muette (03:34)
Dhafer Youssef ظافر يوسف - Digital Prophecy
02 Aya (1984)
03 Dawn Prayer
04 Sparkling Truth
06 Holy Breath
07 Seventh Heaven Suite
08 Wood Talk
09 Holy Lie [Empire d'Ivresse Suite]
10 Flowing Water
Dhafer Youssef ظافر يوسف - Divine shadows
01 Cantos Lamentos (Dedicated To A. Part)
02 27th Century Ethos
03 Miel Et Cendres (Dedicated To Mohamed Choukril)
04 In Human Sense
05 Odd Poetry
06 27th Ethos (Dedicated To Jatinder Thakur)
07 Persona Non Grata
09 Eleventh Stone
10 Ivresse Divine
11 Un Soupir Eternel (To A Norwegian Girl, Karen Steen Aarset 1931 - 2004)
Dhafer Youssef ظافر يوسف - Glow (with Wolfgang Muthspiel)
01 Mon Parfum (02:58)
02 Babylon (06:00)
03 Sand Dance (04:47)
04 Mein Versprechen (06:55)
05 Etude #3 (05:06)
06 Lamento (03:31)
07 Maya (05:10)
08 Emmerich (05:34)
09 Cosmology (06:01)
10 Rhapsodie (03:34)
Dhafer Youssef ظافر يوسف - Abu Nawas Rhapsody
01 Sacrè “The Wine Ode Suite” 4:54
02 Les Ondes Orientales 9:09
03 Khamsa “The Khamriyyat Of Abu Nuwas” 7:38
04 Interl’oud 1:43
05 Odd Elegy 4:52
06 Ya Hobb “In The Name Of Love” 4:08
07 Shaouk 2:07
08 Shata “Shatahat” 5:22
09 Mudamatan “The Wine Ode Suite” 4:51
10 Sabaa “Hayastan Dance” 4:58
11 Sura 6:05
12 Profane “The Wine Ode Suite” 4:39
Dhafer Youssef ظافر يوسف - Birds Requiem
01 Birds Canticum “Birds Requiem” Suite (03:17)
02 Sweet Blasphemy (06:05)
03 Blending Souls & Shades (to Shiraz) (09:31)
04 Ascetic Mood (05:41)
05 Fuga Hirundinum “Birds Requiem” Suite (04:20)
06 Khira “Indicium Divinum” Elegy for My Mother (03:56)
07 39th Gülay (to Istanbul) (06:50)
08 Archaic Feathers “Birds Requiem” Suite (03:01)
09 Sevdah (to Jon Hassell) (08:02)
10 Ascetic Journey (09:02)
11 Whirling Birds Ceremony “Birds Requiem” Suite (04:47)