Abdalaziz Samsaoui - canum, kemanja, darbuka
Otman Almerabet - ud, saz
Tarab, in Arabic, means impressions or feelings which are evoked in the soul by music. In Muslim Spain this form of art was associated with cosmic processes and the different states of the human soul. In Andalusia came into being an elaborate and sophisticated style of music which found its source in Magrib, Spanish and Middle Eastern cultures. Ziryab's Persian sophistication, Arabian moderation and Berber joy of life commingled with the Visigothic and Jewish heritages, creating thus an original form of art for the caliphate and later the Taifa kingdoms.
Since childhood Otman Almerabet has been performing music in various styles: Andalusian, Egyptian, Syrian, Persian, Sufi and Turkish music. In 1982, whith his brother, he founded a flamenco-influenced group Ä¢Al MaqamÄ£. In 1984 he was the founder, together with Magrib and Andalusian musicians, of the group Ä¢Al TarabÄ£ (Ä¢Art of ListeningÄ£) which has been very popular at all festivals of ethnic music (in Seville, Cadiz, Granada, Madrid, Barcelona etc.) and outside Spain (in California and elsewhere). He has worked together with such acclaimed musicians like Chano Dominguez (flamenco-jazz), Javier Rueval, El Lebrijano (Arabian-Andalusian music), Jorge Pardo (jazz-flamenco). He has also performed with the well-known Armenian musicians Haig and Souren.
He has summed up his career as a lute player fifteen years ago with his research into the ethnic music and instruments of Northern Africa, the Middle East and Andalusia. His resulted in a number of documentaries for television (in England, Germany, France, Italy, the United States). At present he is the head of the Dar Ziryabi Cultural Centre and is engaged in preserving and teaching early Andalusian music and creating a site for the coming together of three cultures with common history which constitutes the living legacy of Andalusia.
Abdalaziz Samsaoui was born in Marrakech. He has studied at the Andalusian school in Tetuan under Amin Al-Akram. He has played in the Youth Orchestra in the Andalusian Music Conservatory, with which he has also given solo concerts at state festivals. Andalaziz has also been a member of a number of groups playing both ethnic and classical music (Alvan) and has taken part in the recording sessions of such Spanish early music consorts as Cino Siglos and Alia Musica. As a soloist he plays the violin and canum.