Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

JAAFAR is a Funk-Fusion Eastern inspired Jazz ensemble, with Troy Cole guiding the cast into exotic funk territories on lead-bass. JAAFAR takes jazz, middle-eastern and Indian style improvisation into new funk elements, which transcend categories, crossing boundaries beyond all horizons.


JAAFAR, A Middle Eastern Jazz/Arabic Funk Fusion ensemble originating from the Raleigh/Durham Triangle of North Carolina.

JAAFAR is world traveled, not only in sound, but has performed and recorded several tours in Cairo, Egypt, been invited for 2 consecutive years (2003, 2004) to perform at The Conga Square Jazz Festival in Calcutta India, Poland’s Jazz Festival, Dubai, and numerous festivals and venues of all styles.

JAAFAR incorporates the Middle Eastern techniques of melodic improvisation with the Jazz styles of John Coltrane, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jonas Hellborg, Shakti and others. The group’s percussionists have global influences that travel rhythmically from West Africa to Turkey, through India & the West.

At times the music of JAAFAR is projected as energetic and explosive, while at other moments the experience can be sensitive and subtle; the members of JAAFAR expertly fuse traditional Arabic melodies, classical Indian concepts of composition, North African rhythmic grooves, and pure American Jazz and old-school Funk.

A spiritual, meditative philosophy shines through the music of JAAFAR. The band’s "Acoustic Form" expresses these sensibilities, while JAAFAR's "Electric Form" exhibits raw power and beauty. At all times, this band demonstrates a musical willingness to push itself and its audiences to unforeseen destinations.

Bandleader & lead bassist Robert Troy Cole embarked on a musical & spiritual journey through Egypt in 2000. While immersed in the local culture, an intersection crossbreeding ancient memories with modern shadows, Troy explored musical territory that combined his love of American Jazz improv & Funk Fusion with traditional Middle Eastern musical themes. On many occasions Troy has returned to Cairo, Egypt (2003-2007) to perform with outstanding local Egyptian talent, and bring the message of unity through music.

JAAFAR has now performed along side of such exceptional Jazz / Rock / World Music performers as The Jonas Hellborg Trio, Jeff Sipe, Mike Clark Trio, Toubab Krewe, Rajamani and Project Mastana among many others. Troy Cole has also previously shared the stage with Charlie Hunter, and Derek Trucks.
In 2005 JAAFAR was voted "BEST INTERNATIONAL GROUP" by the readers of the Independent Weekly (www.indyweek.com)

Asheville – (Stella Blue)
Apex - (Halle Cultural Arts Center)
Carrboro - (Cat’s Cradle, The ArtsCenter, De La Luz @ Temple Ball, The Station, Weaver Street Market, Open Eye Café, Queen Of Sheeba)
Chapel Hill - (Local 506, Mansion 462, Caffé Driade, Silk Road Teahouse)
Charlotte - (Visualite Theater, Queens University)
Concord – (Diversity Den)
Durham - (Ringside, Ooh la Latte, Bakus, Broad Street Café, The Basement)
Elon - (West End Station)
Greensboro - (Blind Tiger, Greenbean Café)
Greenville - (Tipsy Teapot)
Hendersonville – (Blue Ridge Performing Arts Center)
Hickory – (Drips Coffe & Brewhouse)
Hillsborough - (Blue Bayou)
Holly Springs - (Java Divine)
Morrisville - (Hindu Society of North Carolina)
Pittsboro - (Chatham Marketplace, General Store Cafe)
Raleigh - (Lincoln Theatre, Pour House Music Hall, N.C. Museum of Art, Burning Coal Theater, Vintage 21, Helios, Triangle Town Center, Ten Thousand Villages, Fox & Hound, Exploris, Sak’s Fifth Avenue)

Shakori Hills Music Festival - (Silk Hope)
International Festival - (Raleigh)
World Arts Festival, Carrboro Music Festival - (Carrboro)
The Haw River Festival - (Pittsboro)
Durham Music Festival, A Taste of Durham, CenterFest, Strawberry Festival, SEEDS Festival - (Durham)
Mannerland - (Mebane)
Golden Leaf Festival - (Asheboro)
N.C. Middle Eastern Festival - (Charlotte)

JAAFAR’s international venues include:
(Cairo, Egypt)
Beit EL Hawarray, Cairo Jazz Club, El Sawy Culture Wheel, After 8

To hear JAAFAR on the radio, please tune to:
WXDU 88.7fm (Durham, NC)
WRDU 106.1fm (Cary, NC)
WCOM 103.5 (Carrboro, NC)


Beyond All Horizons 3 CD set- 2005
Meditations On Bass - 2006
Ocean In The Sky (bass & flute duet) - 2006
The Cairo Rehearsals 2006
Kollektion - 2007
Live Collection Vol 1 2003-2006
Live Collection Vol 2 2006-2007 (featuring Jeff sipe)
Live Collection Vol 3 2008-2010
Egypt - 2008
Dedication To The Sunset - 2008
Live At Burning Coal Theater - 2008
Where Are You Between Two Thoughts - 2009
Bass-scapes Spring 2009
Bass-scapes Summer 2009
Bass-scapes Fall 2009
Terracoustic (solo bass) - 2009
House Of Dreams (featuring Jeff Sipe) - 2009
Market Life - 2009
Live At The Blue Bayou - 2009
Station Transmissions - 2010
Cave Jazz - 2010
Justice Does Not Exist, But what We Desire - 2010
As Above, So below - 2010
101010 - 2010
Prophets Of Sound (featuring Jeff Sipe) - 2011

Set List

The Jaafar set list can range from 20min- 3 hours.
The set list includes 90% original material.
The band performs a few traditional Arabic songs with a Jaafar twist, as well as Jazz standards with a heavy Middle Eastern vibe.

Compositions by Jonas Hellborg, Mahavishnu Orchestra and John Mclaughlin, King Crimson, John Coltrane, Miles Davis & Frank Zappa have also been known to be performed in Jaafar's own flavor of Middle eastern Jazz / Arabic Funk