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Nabil Khemir

Nabil khemir, composer, guitar player, lute-player and singer

Born in Tunisia, Nabil Khemir has grown up in the metropolis of Tunis with the Egyptian music.

By listening to famous Egyptian musicians of this era such as the great singer Oum Kalthoum, the composer/singer Mohamed Abdelwahab, the singer and lute-player Ferid El Atrach and Riadh Sombati (lute-player and composer of Oum Kalthoum) he pronounced his early words while singing their songs.

At the age of seven, Nabil Khemir, appears for the first time in public to sing. When his brother offers him a lute at the occasion of his ninth birthday, he starts to play this instrument as self-taught.

This prodigy child takes at the age of twelve some master classes with the famous lute-player Ali Sriti.

In 1979, he has been proposed to sing accompanied by his lute in different Tunisian television programs for two years.

During the adolescence he's interested by the occidental music and is impressed by great jazzmen such as George Benson, Joe Pass, Herb Ellis, John Mc Laughlin and Pat Metheny.

That is how he discovers the guitar that will become therefore, his second passion.

In 2004, after several years of musical research, Nabil Khemir creates the model of a double-necked instrument, guitar and lute that he would manufacture in the Netherlands and with which he comes back to Tunisia in 2005.

He calls it "RAYJAM" (musical improvisation ray).

Next he participates with his Rayjam to all the big Tunisian events like the International Jazz Festival of Tabarka, International Festival of Carthage, Festival of Mahdia, Ezzahra, El Djem, Kélibia, Tazarka etc.

In 2006 Nabil Khemir follows also masterclasses from Al Jarreau and Billy Paul. On 17 November 2006 he receives from the Governor of Nabeul a certificate of honour for his musical contribution to Tunisia.

In February 2007 he leaves for the USA to showcase on the MMC11.

On 15 March 2007 his song 'Parfum d'Orient et d'Occident' wins an Honor Award in the 8th Annual Great American Song Contest.

In June 2007 he is decorated by the President of the Republic of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, for his innovating musical style and performances.

Nabil khemir weaves with his instrument, in a masterful way the Arabic-Andalusian music of his childhood, with the occidental one of his adolescence (funk, jazz) and the Tunisian rythms.

"The Rayjam is an instrument that permits to make travel all musical styles all over the world and to unify those who listen to it", says Nabil Khemir.


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Blue Canoe Records



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