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Rabih Abou-Khalil

Biography

Rabih Abou-Khalil is peerless for his work, which combines Arabic traditional music with classical and jazz. He is a master of the oud (a lute-like instrument), as well as a composer who succeeds in creating sublime musical sketches with seemingly incompatible instrumentation: the ney (a Turkish reeded flute), frame drums, tabla, congas, violin, cello, saxophones, flugelhorn and tuba have all been put to use on his musical canvas. He grew up in cosmopolitan Beirut during its crossroads era of the 1960s and '70s, a fact that explains his broad-reaching aesthetic, which can create a new Arabic take on a jazz standard, an empyrean twist on classical music, or even a totally new sound that's beyond classification. With a seriousness of purpose, Abou-Khalil has recorded prolifically and seems to have an endless capacity for invention.
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