Building bridges between jazz and the influence of Sufism, the Tunisian vocalist and master of the oud Dhafer Youssef returns with a repertoire of extraordinary beauty.
For twenty years Dhafer Youssef has been building bridges between cultures, between the East and the West. Composer, master of the oud and bewitching vocalist, he brings together the influence of Sufism, whose heritage he carries, and jazz – from Scandinavian jazz to American jazz – but also Indian music and electric instruments. His new album Street of Minarets, the ninth of his career, is the result of five years of work and tells of his travels around the world in search of new sounds. Dhafer Youssef sings differently. After the ordeal of an operation for a throat polyp, he has reworked his high voice with effects that find their echoes in his childhood. As a return to the sound of megaphones that the young Dhafer, from a lineage of muezzins, used for the call to prayer from the top of the minaret of his village of Teboulba, 25 kilometers from Monastir. A Tunisian kid who arrived in Vienna with an oud and a backpack thirty years ago, without any source of income, multiplying odd jobs to survive but inhabited by a dream, a quest, a mission. That of sharing his music, the key to his deliverance, the source of his fulfillment and the field of his accomplishment. Mission accomplished
Photo credit © Sabine Hauswirth
Dhafer Youssef : oud, voice
Mario Rom : trompet
Daniel Garcia : piano
Swaeli Mbappé : bass
Tao Erlich : drums