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MUSICIAN Born:

Wajdi Cherif

A native of Tunisia, Wajdi Cherif grew up playing by ear Arabic and pop music he heard on the local radio starting at age 5. His interest in jazz began late in his 20's when he discovered pianists Chick Corea, Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk by watching their live performance videos at the American cultural center in Tunis while he was studying English language and Literature at college. This marked a turning point in his musical career as he decided to explore jazz piano and composition even further. Wajdi Cherif made his debut as a professional jazz pianist in 1998 when he played with Tunisian jazz musician Fawzi Chekili in many venues and festivals in Tunisia

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wajdi Cherif: Jasmine

Read "Jasmine" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Words like “progress," “advancement" and “moving forward" are dangerous to use in describing art, yet they pop up all the time in that context. The idea that the history of jazz is one of progress or advancement rather than simply change is very popular, but unwarranted in my view. It would be easy to say that ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wajdi Cherif: Phrygian Istikhbar

Read "Phrygian Istikhbar" reviewed by Budd Kopman

I approached Phrygian Istikhbar with a bit of trepidation, since the signposts of “world music as jazz were very strong. The first track, “Voyage, only reinforced my fears, since the usual elements of world music--scalar rather than melodic improvising, static or oscillating harmony, and strong, repetitive rhythmic patterns--were all present. Cherif uses a ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Meet Pianist Manuel Rocheman

Read "Meet Pianist Manuel Rocheman" reviewed by Wajdi Cherif

Manuel Rocheman grew up in a rich and stimulating musical environment as both his parents and grandparents were musicians. His father, a guitarist and actor was the founder of the “Hootenanny" in the American centre in Paris, a place where artists come to perform from all around the globe. A major musical events in Rocheman's childhood ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Katy Roberts: Katy Roberts Quintet Live a L'Archipel

Read "Katy Roberts Quintet Live a L'Archipel" reviewed by Wajdi Cherif

The real challenge when doing a jazz album is achieving a perfect mix of energy, group interaction and musicality. Katy Roberts' album Live A l'Archipel is a perfect case in point. Roberts succeeded to gather around her musicians with different strong personalities that contribute to the force in her statement. She has been living in Paris ...


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