Duo Sabil
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Duo Sabil

Rammūn, West Bank, Palestinian Territory | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Rammūn, West Bank, Palestinian Territory | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Duo World Traditional




"This Week in Palestine"

« Hbeish imparts great sensitivity and emotion in playing his instruments with which he reacts mentally and spiritually. He does not limit himself to traditional percussion instruments, he uses unusual instruments to create a unique sound ». -


« Multi-percussionist of a great sharpness, Youssef Hbeisch has the power to make percussions ''spiritual''. He developed a game full of imagination between polyrythm and resonance. He prepares a book about the musical potential of polyrythm. Whether in oriental music of fusion-jazz, his collaboration and master-classes are sought after throughout the world ». -


« The Samara trio offers contemporary and traditional music inspired by the repertoires of Middle-east and Scandinavia (...). Ahmad Al-Khatib, who plays oud, the arab lute, is very much in demand not only in the Mideast but everywhere in the world ». -

"Le Dauphiné libéré"

« Passed concerts of the Duo Sabîl left the memory of intensive moments. Their music is full of a age old memory and crossed by the intimate story of the two musicians. A generous bridge between cultures, Ahmad Al Khatib had the wish to compose for a string quartet, oud and percussions, and create a novative dialogue between oriental and western traditions. (…) After a creation residence with the Béla quartet, a high level and audacious ensemble devoted to the contemporary repertoire, Jadayel was born… ». -

"This Week in Palestine"

« Listening to the CD Sada for the first time, certain tracks appear to have more than one oud being played at the same time. But it is no studio trick nor is there another oud in the recording: those who were lucky to attend a live performance for Al-Khatib (...) could not help but stare at the movement of both his hands and the agility with which his fingers were moving simultaneously and with complete ease from string to string, producing sounds that penetrate the soul. (…) The CD, a must in every music lover’s library». -


"Oud genius emerges fully-formed on his European release debut (…) Khatib’s music is based on the Middle Eastern tradition of oud improvisation, though his playing also shows an individuality of style informed by his experience of growing up in a Jordanian refugee camp, living in the occupied West Bank and his current life in Sweden. (…) many of us are meeting a ravishingly confident performer for the first time. Percussionist Youssef Hbeisch is quite rightly given equal billing, as his contributions go way beyond a mere supporting role: he even manages to construct a near-perfect five minute solo on ‘Li Alix’. The interplay between the two players is both inventive and natural, a finely-judged balance of elegance and passion. The Arab world now has a rich crop of young virtuoso oud players vying for our attention: this is one that you really should take notice of". Bill Badley, -

"Mondomix Magazine"

« First album of the Palestinian duo, Sabîl («On the way») recalls of movement: a strong image in regions where immobility changes sides at each moment. Ahmad and Youssef perfectly master passed forms of music but each note claims the emancipatory force of inventiveness. Youssef Hbeisch weaves a colourful rhythmical maze and Ahmad Al Khatib can let his instrument vibrate on this background. From the pledges of Arab musical tradition, to the boldness of modernity, join the movement! ». -


« The Palestinian duo will defend his iconoclastic album, Sabîl, an unbridled Arab music where the scholar mode maqam is jostled by frantic compositions. Contemporary and with sophisticated tangles among oud, darbuka, daff and riqq, these compositions also leave place for uncluttered ballads. A refinement which combines classicism and thirst for freedom. (…) Today comes an album crossing sobriety and subtlety, where the art of maqam and the freedom in improvisation on taqsim, are developed in an original, unique and innovative game ». -

"Radio Nova"

« ...An ode to Freedom » Radio -


« With the CD Sabîl, Palestinian maestros Ahmad Al Khatib 
et Youssef Hbeisch take our imagination and our conscience along evocative titles. (…) By intimately mingling their identity with various influences, they walk in the footsteps of Farâbî. They triumph over the citadels of oppression by carrying us on the wings of a music that in the same time is rooted in its cultural inheritance, and take over the skies of otherness: in the tracks of sufism, towards heights where the work of the spirit soothens the pain, and where the oppressor cannot anymore build his walls ». -

"Babel Med.net"

« Ahmad al-Khatib and Youssef Hbeisch are Palestinian artists [and] musical accomplices. Indeed, in these largely improvised musics, harmony between the musicians is so obvious that surprisingly, this first CD to gather them as a duo seems in fact to be the result of years of collaboration.
The reason might be that (...) both artists lived in occupied Palestine as adults, sharing the experience of an oppressed people that sees horror on a daily basis. The solemnity of some compositions is therefore that of a whole people. But the energy which emanates from other titles reminds that the Palestinian people remains standing and resisting – music, for many oppressed peoples in History, being a main expression of resistance, and of consolation in misfortune.
Al-Khatib is said to be a modest artist, despite his immense talent. Indeed, nor pomposity neither bombast here, but a discourse full of inwardness. We already had the opportunity to admire the game of Hbeisch's hands, full of lightness (...). The two musicians offer titles linked to each others like steps of a journey into their inner Palestine, where even when crossing devastated regions, one does not get destroyed by sadness, but remains proud and alive ». -

"Qantara, magazine des cultures arabe et méditerranéenne"

« ...the fantastic Palestinian duo made up of the oudist Ahmad Al Khatib and the percussionist Youssef Hbeisch… just one recommandation: run to see them ». -

"Le Monde magazine"

« ...rare artists ». -


Duo Sabil - Album Sabil - 2010

Duo Sabil & Quatuor Bela - Album Jadayel - 2012



Sabl  is the story of two artists on the way, but
keeping memory of their roots.

Rooted in the classical Arab inheritance
and fed with sufi mystics, their creations explore  new sounds, new colours, new
rythms taking oriental music to areas never reached before.

Linked to the
tragedies of the Arab world, the melancholy conveyed in their playing is part
of the universal. Anyone can identify when torn between certain conflicts:
borders versus liberty; confusion versus stability; a devastating
past versus the ability to enjoy the present and build future; exile versus...
the ease of evidence.

Thus, rather than from nostalgia, energy comes
from the tension to move forward.

story starts with a meeting.

At a concert where Hbeisch plays in 1998, Al Khatib is impressed by the
creativity of this first-class percussionist. Four years follow. They both
teach in the Conservatory of East Jerusalem, complicity
grows. But the project of a common creation meets obstacles.

      2010 : they at last record Sabl and the CD gives its name to the Duo.

The Palestinian foundation Qattan brings an enthusiastic support. The Institut
du Monde arabe in Paris immediately wants to produce it. It is distributed by Harmunia

In february 2012, Mezzo selects it in the top 5 of
best jazz CDs of the month. France Musique, the BBC... : widely listened radios invite the 2
musicians. The concert launching the CD is broadcasted on France 24. An authority in world
music, the British magazine Songlines distinguishes the CD as Top of
the world in July. Excellent reports also appeared in main French writen
medias (Tlrama, Mondomix,...).

duo performed in the Oud Festival
of the Institut du Monde Arabe, in the Suds of Arles, in the Festival
de Chaillol
, the cume Festival of Marseille, the Rencontres
du Var, the festival Autres Rivages (France), the
Jerusalem Music Festival (Palestine), the Jyva'Zik Festival (Belgium).

    An ambitious intercultural project is now on the way, with Bla, one of the most
brilliant French contemporary quartets. After a command to Ahmad Al Khatib for
a composition for oud, string quartet and percussions, JADAYEL sees the light.
Standing ovations in the end of already 8 concerts allow to bet on another


Band Members