mel M'rabet
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mel M'rabet

Band World Jazz


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The best kept secret in music


"M'rabet M reviews"

Mel M'rabet


Andalusian Mel M'rabet, who now works out of Montreal-Toronto-Ottawa & Spain, effectively combined ancient and modern. He brought a four-piece band with him to the Brigantine Room from the nation's capital and offered up what he terms Andalusian fusion, which incorporates elements of Mideast, flamenco, funk,latin- jazz and more.
He sang and gave his oud/guitar (the fretless stringed ancestor of the Renaissance lute) an exciting, dexterous workout, and for once the Western backup music and technology didn't sanitize or ravage the authenticity of the songs in the way that many traveling bands with their barrage of electronic gadgetry do.
Geoff Chapman, Toronto Star

The vision of Cuban keyboard wizard Omar Sosa is one of world jazz, where musical threads from different Afro-American traditions meet and intermingle, and where varied harmonies, rhythms and instruments take Latin jazz beyond anything else being played today. And if Sosa's genius weren't enough, on this evening his special guest is Mel M'rabet, the Moroccan-born, Granada-raised composer/musician - himself a blender of jazz, funk and the more exotic.
Bravo! Channel

Mel M'rabet & Kalima create pure fire with international all star band bridging the New sounds of Latin-Flamenco Rumba- Arabic, Asian fusion North-African-Flamenco and world music on a new album entitled Andalusian Legacy. M'rabet, master of the oud and saz, as well as guitar, this exquisite singer has broken much new ground in his career. With his new band, Kalima, he takes his greatest leap to date, and the results are celebrated on the Andalusian Legacy release.
Lula Lounge review

Whereas most Andalusian instrumentalists are content to imitate human voice techniques, M'rabet has set out to explore new ways of playing world music. Yet he does not fall into the trap of letting virtuosity become an end in itself: his desire to excel always takes second place to his innovative impulse and thirst to explore uncharted musical terrain. His new fingernail technique will soon draw interest and perhaps criticism among traditionalists of the oud/Guitar.
X-press magazine

Granada Oud/Guitar player, Mel M'rabet, has demonstrated a great dexterity never seen before, at the Brigantine room, part of the World Music Festival at Harbourfront Centre. M'rabet bases his fusion on his roots and intertwines them with western instruments. So many artists use eastern instruments as decoration, he on the other hand does the contrary.
Toronto Star
- Al Maqam & Spanish- Canadian Critics


Andalusian Legacy Album, on CD



M'rabet M

The oud, a Middle-Eastern lute, is a monodic instrument found throughout the Arab-Turkish-
Persian region and throughout southern Spain. In it's traditional songs it assumes the role of the

Raised by musician parents in Granada, Andalusia, Mel M'rabet was introduced to the oud at an
early age, exploring the styles of Fusion, Flamenco, and Middle-Eastern music. At eighteen Mel
began performing professionally across Spain. By 1989 as an established musician, he toured the
Andalusian province, southern France and Germany.

Upon migration to Canada, M'rabet appeared and recorded with notable musicians such as Dario
Domingues, Jean Martin, Victor Nesrallah, Rob Frayne, John Geggie, Oscar Lopez, Cesaria
Evora and Francois Tesberge.

In the fall of 1995, and after two successful summer tours of Spain, M'rabet was awarded a New
Talent Demo Award by FACTOR. Canada Council for the Arts awarded him three grants from
1996 to 1998. One grant helped him record fusion music. Another grant enriched his repertoire
by sending him to a studio in Paris where he researched Andalusian music.

While in Paris, M'rabet performed solo and with artists including Salif Keita, Anouar Brahem,
Rabih Abu Khalil, Steve Lacey, Steve Potts, and Cheb Mami. He has also participated in various
festivals: Montreal Jazz Festival, BC Folk Festival, SunFest (London), Ottawa Folk Festival,
Beirut Jazz Festival, Harbourfront Centre World Music Festival and the Washington DC Jazz

M'rabet's music draws not only on the rich heritage of Andalusian Music, but also on that of the
Turks, the Kurds, the Armenians, and the Gypsies. All these sources have influenced his playing
style and compositions. He is currently focused on developing new repertoire based on the
musical roots and sources with which he grew up. In addition, he is working on a new playing
technique aiding newcomers to the oud. While it is common for Western musicians to take an
ornamental approach to their application of world music, M'rabet stresses that his heritage acts as
the foundation for every one of his compositions.

M'rabet's compositions for the soundtrack to the film, "Khaled" were nominated for a Genie
Award in 2002. He continues to collaborate with upcoming film and documentary projects
around the world. He is also working on a new recording featuring a fusion of electro-acoustic

M’rabet has just returned from a successful Canadian west coast tour in July & August 2005,
Winnipeg folk festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Harrison Spring folk festival, Calgary &
Afrikadey festivals. He also toured part of Spain in August 2005, cities included were Granada,
Valencia, Barcelona, & Cádiz.

M' rabet dazzles his listeners as he deftly leaps from traditional Arabic sounds to jazz and
Western classical styles. His soaring technique, melodic ingenuity, and unparalleled grace have
earned him international acclaim as a virtuoso on the 'oud and Guitar.

M'rabet is an Andalusian musician based in Canada & Spain. As a performer, and composer of
his generation his work incorporates and reflects a legacy of Arabic music, while it forges ahead
to new frontiers, embracing many different styles in the process. This unique contribution to the
world of arts was recognized by many of his colleagues in the field.

M' rabet has recently developed a new Oud playing technique utilizing only the fingernails,
and the thumb for plucking. He hopes to add new elements as well as new sounds to the
unlimited instrument " Oud" sound.

For the past six years, though, M'rabet has focused much of his energies on his trio . The trio,
whose work represents Mel' s vision for the unbridled fusion of Arab, jazz, Western classical,
and Latin American music, a perfect alchemy for music to transcend the boundaries of genre and
geography. In addition to performing with his trio and collaborating with great caliber artists such
as Omar Sosa, and Omar Faruk, and many others. M'rabet tours as a solo artist internationally
and as a lecturer throughout the academic world promoting awareness to Andalusian music
through numerous lecture and workshop presentations.