Michel Sajrawy - Arabic Jazz Fusion
Guitarist and composer Michel Sajrawy was born to a Palestinian family from Nazareth - Israel. Michel started playing the guitar at the age of 9 and played in different bands. In 1995, after finising a degree in Electronic Engineering, he moved to London, England, where he completed a one-year diploma at the Musicians' Institute - G.I.T. He began a three-year degree program in music composition at The London College of Music in 1996 under the instruction and assistance of Adam Gorb.. During the years 1999-2000 Michel furthered himself with the assistance of Adam Gorb and Nigel Clark to complete his masters degree in film and TV scoring.
In 2000 he returned to Nazareth and established his own business Dasam Studio (Dasam is a word in Arabic for ''rich food'').
As a band leader, he released his debut album Yathrib (Ozella Music 2006) which marked his entrance into the vanguard of
crossover artists who see themselves creating an uncompromising jazz sound between traditional and contemporary. In 2009 he released his second album Writings On The Wall (Ozella Music) which marked a strong turning towards filigree west-eastern acoustic jazz. Among the jazz releases, the album appeared on the Top List "Best albums of 2009" of Freies Radio Stuttgart in Germany. In 2012 he released Arabop (Ozella Music / Dasam Studio) a high octane, modern Arabic music that isn't like any world jazz or world fusion you've heard up to now.
Michel can easily join the ranks of seminal jazz guitarists. With his band, he played in different parts of the country, toured in Germany and played the Leipzig Jazz Festival (2006), played in Switzerland-Geneva (2007), Jerusalem Festival (2007) where he met and jammed with Nigel Kennedy. He played in the Netherlands (2008), the same year he played in New York (USA). Played the Jordan Festival (2009), Tel Aviv Jazz Festival (2009) and the International Oud Festival in Jerusalem (2012).
He worked with Abboud Abdel'All, Bashir Abdel'All, Ahmed Mukhtar, Samir Jubran and Manfred Leuchter. He composed music for several documentary films, arranged the music for theatre, various mini orchestral projects and produced radio jingles for the major brands in the country. Michel has been awarded the Wilfred Joseph Prize (1998-99 England), Best Title in Music (2002 Israel) and the A. M. Qattan Foundation's Performing Arts Grant for the year (2007 Palestine). More about Michel Sajrawy
Michel Sajrawy - Batumi. Live In Haifa.
Almidan Theatre 20/04/12
Michel Sajrawy: Guitar, Amiram Granot: Sax, Yotam Beery: Bass, Stas Zilberman: Drums, Wissam Arram: Darbuka.
Want an introduction to Arabic scales?
In this video Michel Sajrawi teaches Maqamat -the Arabic musical scales- and talks about the fusions he makes between jazz and Arabic music on his guitar.
Michel Sajrawy Music
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Michel Sajrawy - Press
"One of the most prominent and original representatives of the Jazz-Rock-World Fusion worldwide… His stunning guitar sound merges the resonance of electric Fusion guitar and the characteristic scales of Middle Eastern instruments, like the oud, creating a completely new "instrument", which sounds like nothing else… So, for the third time in a row, Sajrawy hits the jackpot with his amazing music, unparalleled virtuosity and most importantly unshaken integrity, doing his thing and believing in his vision, for which he deserves to be respected and admired."
"This is high octane, modern Arabic music that isn't like any world jazz or world fusion you've heard up to now...
Wild stuff, that's for sure."
"He has perfected his ability to perform exotic arrangements on his trusted Fender Stratocaster by bending and coercing his strings into a swift sequence of microtones and quarter-notes, all done with cultural authenticity fused with rock, blues and bop... This should speak volumes in praise of the power of the music, and might explain the impressive energy level of this recording. Though this will be categorized in the media as world music, it is much more than that. It is a positive assertion that everything is possible."
"Barenboim of the Jazzguitar."
"Michel succeeds wildly with a stunning set of mostly instrumental music that is both jazzy, Arabic, and improvisational. This is maqam music for future generations."
"Sajrawy is exploring liquid modalities, often shredding but also slowing way down for sinuous balladics to lay out the expressive powers of mid-Eastern modes... In largest part, though, this is indeed pyrotechnic... if you're looking at expanding your borders, this gent's guitar playing and Byzantine compositions are an excellent mysterious back alley for that."
"I am a sucker for Arabic music, I am a sucker for jazz. I am certainly defenseless against the hybrid of Arabic music and jazz. Guitarist Michel Sajrawy knows both genres very well which equips him to oversee a perfect merger."
"...he can also bop as wonderfully as if he had just invented it himself – just listen to the title piece „Arabop“ – or deliver a high speed long distance run like in „Longa Farah Faza“. A brilliant work of intercultural music without any pseudo-exotic clichés."
Michel performs in a trio, and he gives fascinating guitar workshops showing the connecting points between Arabic music and Jazz.