Playlist #12: Jazz

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Arabic Jazz can be traced back to the 1950’s and 1960’s, when now iconic jazz musician Egyptian Salah Ragab broke from the military orchestra. Founding the legendary Cairo Jazz Band, Ragab’s seminal track “Egyptian Strut” was recorded in collaboration with the legendary American jazz composer Ra (of Sun Ra Arkestra) and put Ragab and the burgeoning scene on the map.

Notable is also the contribution of Ziad Rahbani, son of the legendary Fairuz, whose work remains one of the most iconic contributions to Arabic Jazz in the region. The 1980’s and 1990’s also saw musicians like Simon Shaheen, Toufic Farroukh and Rabih Abu Khalil bolstering international reputations and exposure, setting the stage for a new jazz generation. Over the last two decades we have witnessed a musical boom of Arabic jazz such as Amir El-Saffar or UAE-based experimental jazz trio NOON, in addition to Lebanese Tarek Yamani and Bahraini Yazz Ahmed’s merging of gulf music with jazz tunes. London boasts impressive names from the Arabic jazz world, such as Ruba Shamshoum and there’s more to be explored through this beautiful genre. 

Spotify Playlist

What are MARSM Playlists?

Marsm’s weekly playlists take on the musical history, trends and upcoming productions from the Middle East and North African music scene. Each week focuses on a new theme, showcasing both underground and established artists – from the more dance-able to the most experimental – and everything in between.