Dhafer Youssef

Publié le 16 Décembre 2007

Dhafer Youssef (né le 19 novembre 1967, à Téboulba), est un compositeur, chanteur et oudiste tunisien. Incontestablement, il est parmi les meilleurs jazzmen de sa génération et un de piliers de la musique underground tunisienne dans le sens où il maîtrise parfaitement la fusion de genres musicaux au point d' être mixé avec Barrel of a Gun de Depeche Mode par Bugge Wesseltoft, l’un des principaux acteurs de la transition du jazz nordique traditionnel de nu jazz. Lorsque Dhafer Youssef joue, un charme particulier rendu par la combinaison de deux instruments d’apparence si éloignée, l’oud et la trompette, se déploie : ses prestations nous plongent dans un univers exotique où la musique arabe et les improvisations jazz se rencontrent sans conflits.

Biographie et évolution musicale

Issu de la tradition musicale d’une grande poésie arabo-andalouse, le malouf est sans conteste le genre musical le plus prisé en Tunisie, le plus connu et le plus populaire. Si nombre de ces artistes poursuivent à le pratiquer dans sa forme traditionnelle, d’autres parmi la jeune génération ont décidé de se le réapproprier pour mieux le posséder, le transformer, le faire revivre et évoluer…

Parmi ces musiciens figurent Dhafer Youssef et Ghalia Benali, deux artistes très différents qui évoluent dans des univers poétiques très différents et dont les œuvres sont très personnelles. Autodidacte, Dhafer Youssef apprend à chanter dans dans les fêtes familiales et religieuses. Plus tard, il apprend le oud en autodidacte. Il a vécu à Vienne (Autriche) entre 1989 et 1999, vit et travaille actuellement à Paris (France).

Musicien très dextre et habile, sa musique prend ses sources dans les traditions soufies, de lyrisme arabe, d'influences multiculturelles et d'une instrumentation puisée dans le jazz et l'improvisation musicale.

Après le très prometteur "Electric Sufi", aux sonorités des musiques mystiques arabes et de jazz, des musiques électroniques et du funk. Dhafer Youssef sort en 2003 "Digital Prophecy", alliance de groove oriental et de transe intense.

En 2006, Dhafer présentait une tournée au Festival Banlieues Bleues et Jazzman, à cette occasion, il forme un quintette composé du bassiste Audun Erlien, du batteur Rune Arnesen, du trompettiste Arve Henriksen et du guitariste Eivind Aarset décrit comme une « une fascinante rencontre entre spiritualité soufi et musiciens parmi les plus créatifs de la scène norvégienne. »

Parmi ses collaborations notables figure des duos avec Paolo Fresu, Nguyen Le, Bugge Wesseltoft, Omar Sosa, etc.


Dhafer Youssef est un artiste sobre et modeste. Sa musique est tout le contraire, elle est éclatante et profonde. Sa voix, assurément l'une des plus belles voix masculines du monde, suscite les superlatifs les plus élogieux. Cet artiste tunisien inclassable est auteur de quatre albums. Ses prouesses vocales sont telles qu'il peut partir du son le plus grave à la note la plus aigue tout en restant mélodieux et sans trop forcer. Ainsi, Taranoum, le titre qui inaugure son 1er album Malak, illustre parfaitement cela. Ou encore dans le morceau suivant Yabay, tiré de son 2ème album Electric Sufi où Dhafer vocalise durant 20 secondes continues. Un pur bonheur musical.

« Abu Nawas Rhapsody », est son dernier album. Un recueil de poèmes de l’ère Abasside qui glorifient Dieu avec ce style typiquement passionnel et instinctif caractérisant le soufisme, mêlant la piété et le plaisir, le sacré et le profane.



  • Mussafer (1998)
  • Malak (2001)
  • Electric Sufi (2002)
  • Digital Prophecy (2003)
  • Divine Shadows (2006)
  • Glow (2007)


Liens internet

Rédigé par Mario Scolas

Publié dans #Musiques tunisiennes, #Dhafer Youssef

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<br /> Late junction (BBC) presenter Fiona Talkington explains how an exceptional young Tunisian musician found his creative home in Europe.<br /> <br /> <br /> A small seaside town in Tunisia in the 1970s. A boy walks along a deserted shoreline picking up the odds and ends he finds lying around: A broken fishing net; a few discarded sardine cans; spokes<br /> from an old bicycle. His heart and mind are full of music and he wants to play. It's as much as his father can do to put food on the table for Dhafer and his seven brothers and sisters. There<br /> certainly isn't spare money for music lessons, let alone for an instrument. So Dhafer makes his own oud, the traditional middle-Eastern lute, using whatever he can find.<br /> <br /> <br /> You've only got to listen to the achingly beautiful first minute or so of Dhafer Youssef's last album Digital Prophecy to hear how the passion for music, born in that<br /> small Tunisian town, still lives on.<br /> <br /> <br /> The young Dhafer did what was expected of him and sang, having learnt at the traditional Koran school, but at the same time, he was hearing music on the radio - the only source of entertainment<br /> in this small town. "It was just music. That's all I knew" says Dhafer "I didn't know what was classical what was jazz and so on. Just music..." And so, on his homemade oud, Dhafer taught himself<br /> to play by ear.<br /> <br /> <br /> One day a friend came back from his travels with an electric guitar and a small toy one for his young nephew. Dhafer borrowed the toy for a week, at the same time secretly yearning to get his<br /> hands on the proper instrument. Eventually his friend began to lend it to him for a few days at a time: "days when I didn't sleep, the time was too precious. I just played."<br /> <br /> <br /> As he began to earn money by singing at weddings, he saved enough to buy his first 'real' oud for the equivalent of 100 Euros. This was frowned on by friends and family. "God's given you a voice,<br /> you've got to sing."<br /> <br /> <br /> But Dhafer had fallen in love with the sound of the instrument. It was the sound of his roots, the country where he was born. "If I'd been born in Africa I'd have been a drummer. In New York- a<br /> sax player. But I was born in Tunisia -I play the oud. If I'd been brought up near a piano maybe I'd have played that, but actually I didn't even see my first piano until I went to Vienna when I<br /> was 19."<br /> <br /> <br /> Vienna lured him with the promise of the opportunity to study music. "I did anything I could to earn money. I washed dishes, cleaned windows, worked as an Italian waiter even though I wasn't<br /> Italian. I did anything I could just to keep the music going. But I still couldn't read music. I went to listen to lots of music: jazz, classical, anything. And I met a viola player Tony Burger<br /> who patiently helped me to write my music down, and we would just play together for hours. Then I met the tabla player Jatinder Thakur who really got me into Indian music. This was a BIG<br /> discovery. I fell in love with the sound. It seemed so near to my soul, and I played with him every day. He was at the heart of the first quartet I played with."<br /> <br /> <br /> "In Vienna, I was still working to survive. But, I have to say, it was the most beautiful time of my life. It was a dream coming true: I was doing my own music, bringing alive the colours in my<br /> soul, playing a lot of theater music with people like accordionist Otto Lechner."<br /> <br /> <br /> "Then along came an amazing opportunity. The Jazz club Porgy and Bess in Vienna would give a musician carte blanche to do what they liked, one night a month for the next twelve months. A new<br /> project every month. I could invite anyone I wanted to play with me so I just thought: 'why not?' and asked so many people I admired from all over the world: Iva Bittova, Peter Herbert, Renaud<br /> Garcia Fons and Christian Muthspiel for example."<br /> <br /> <br /> "It was a huge success and I got to do in nine months what might have taken ten years. I was doing something completely different each month and at every gig, people would come up and ask about<br /> the music. Sometimes, things went so well with the musicians that one night at the Porgy and Bess wasn't enough and we'd go into the studio to record. That's how my first<br /> album, Malak came about."<br /> <br /> <br /> "Well, after that, I thought I would go back to Africa in search of my roots, but after a while, I felt that Europe was where my home was. My creativity is in Europe and wherever that is, there<br /> is my home. Enja wanted another recording from me and I went to New York for a while and recordedElectric Sufi with a group which included Dieter Ilg, Markus Stockhausen and<br /> Doug Wimbish."<br /> <br /> <br /> The world was beginning to take notice of Dhafer's captivating high vocals and intensity of playing and he considered settling in New York.<br /> <br /> <br /> "But then came September 11th and I just thought in this troubled world I should return to Paris."<br /> <br /> <br /> "I began to have more and more contact with Norway and Nils Petter Molvaer invited me to play with him and the singer Anneli Drecker." This lead eventually to his third album, Digital Prophecy.<br /> Here, Dhafer's profoundly spiritual singing and playing become embedded in the Scandinavian, existentialist world of Norwegian music, embodied in the playing of Eivind Aarset on guitar, drummer<br /> Rune Arnesen, Bugge Wesseltoft on keyboards and Dieter Ilg on bass, along with the sampling of Jan Bang. "I just love playing with musicians from the North. They are more African than some<br /> Africans and they are an inspiration to me."<br /> <br /> <br /> Dhafer's band consists of the cream of Norway's electronic nu-jazz scene. Eivind Aarset, one of the finest guitarists in the world today, is renowned for the ambient washes and eastern flavoured<br /> drones that have featured on the work of Nils Petter Molvaer, Kjetil Bjornstad and for his own band, Electronique Noire. Drummer Rune Arnesen's urgent beats also feature in Molvaer's work and add<br /> a distinctive, contemporary drum'n'bass sensibility ably teamed with the highly in-demand depth charges of bassist Audun Erlien. The line-up is completed by trumpeter Arve Henriksen recipient of<br /> one of Norway's Jazz launch Europe awards whose unique style of trumpet playing and vocals is confounding audiences and fellow musicians alike.<br /> <br /> <br /> "I am the only one who doesn't speak Norwegian!" says Dhafer, "but our gigs together are not about what happens for an hour on stage. These are simply great human beings, and how we are as<br /> musicians comes as much from the time we spend hanging around: waiting at airports, traveling together, being on the road, in a bus, sharing good food."<br /> <br /> <br /> Fiona Talkington - Journalist, DJ and Presenter, Late Junction, BBC Radio 3<br />
Petit coup de pub à un grand artiste tunisien de passage à Rabat ce jeudi 12 juin 2008. Le luthiste Dhafer Youssef se produira à partir de 20 h au Chellah à l’occasion du « Jazz au Chellah » organisé par la Délégation de l’Union européenne au Maroc.
Dhafer Youssef sera sur Espace 2 (radio romande) le 14 juillet de 22h40 à minuit. Il s'agit d'une retransmission du concert Cully Jazz Festival 2008.
ton blog est vraiment bien<br /> une mine d infos<br /> merci pour ton com sur mon blog<br /> <br /> Najim