Dhafer Youssef

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dhafer Youssef
ظافر يوسف
Dhafer Youssef, Oslo Jazzfestival 2015
Dhafer Youssef, Oslo Jazzfestival 2015
Background information
Birth nameDhafer bin Youssef bin Tahar Maarref
Born (1967-11-19) 19 November 1967 (age 55)
Teboulba, Tunisia
OriginTunisia Tunisia
GenresEthno jazz, world fusion, Sufi, qawwali, jazz fusion, new-age, jazztronica
Occupation(s)Musician, singer
Instrument(s)Oud, vocals
Years active1990–present
LabelsEnja, Justin Time, Jazzland, EmArcy, Okeh

Dhafer Youssef (Arabic: ظافر يوسف; born 19 November 1967) is a Tunisian composer, singer and oud player.


Dhafer Youssef was born in Téboulba (a small village of coastal Tunisia); his grandfather was a muezzin. He calls the radio "the most important school" for him.[1] He developed an interest in jazz at an early age and clandestinely listened to it during his education at a Qur'anic school.[2] He later left Tunisia to start a jazz career and has lived in Europe since 1990, usually in Paris or Vienna. He also works in avant-garde and world music where he has been nominated for awards.[3] He has released six albums of his own and created notable work with Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu and the Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset. He has an affinity for the music of India and Nordic music. He was a guest artist on the Norwegian jazz artist Bugge Wesseltoft's album FiLM iNG. Youssef has performed with Ustad Zakir Hussain, Uri Caine, Tigran Hamasyan, Jon Hassell, Markus Stockhausen,[4] Nguyên Lê, Omar Sosa and Hüsnü Şenlendirici. Youssef is one of the ambassadors to Music Traveler, together with Billy Joel, Hans Zimmer, John Malkovich, Sean Lennon, Adrien Brody and more. In 2001, he recorded Electric Sufi with the ex-Sugar Hill Gang and Tackhead rhythm section of Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbish.

In 2015, Youssef opened the Sligo Jazz project with a quartet act at the Hawk's Well Theatre at Connacht, Ireland.[1]

Youssef released Diwan of Beauty and Odd in 2016 which won quite a bit of praise from critics.[5]


Solo albums[edit]

  • 1999: Malak (Enja)
  • 2001: Electric Sufi (Enja)
  • 2003: Digital Prophecy (Justin Time)
  • 2006: Divine Shadows (Jazzland)
  • 2007: Glow (Material), with Wolfgang Muthspiel
  • 2010: Abu Nawas Rhapsody (EmArcy)
  • 2013: Birds Requiem (Okeh) (FR: #191)[6]
  • 2016: Diwan of Beauty and Odd (Okeh) (FR: #105)[7]
  • 2018: Sounds of Mirrors
  • 2023: Street of Minarets


  • 1997: Blue Planet – Peace for Kabul (Blue Flame World Music), with Lenny MacDowell and Hakim Ludin
  • 1998: hot ROOM (Extraplatte), also featuring Otto Lechner, Wolfgang Puschnig, Achim Tang
  • 2003: Exile (Enja), with Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble feat. Reem Kelani & Dhafer Youssef
  • 2005: Odem (with Wolfgang Puschnig and Jatinder Thakur) (EmArcy), with Wolfgang Puschnig and Jatinder Thakur
  • 2006: Homescape (ACT), with Nguyên Lê Duos Paolo Fresu
  • 2008: Jo & Co (Universal Music Polska), with Anna Maria Jopek feat. Richard Bona and Mino Cinelu
  • 2008: Latitudini – Omaggio Alla World Music (Casa Del Jazz), with Paolo Fresu and Eivind Aarset
  • 2017: Luna (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) with Iain Ballamy And Dave McKean Featuring Dhafer Youssef, Emilia Mårtensson With Stian Carstensen, Stuart Hall, Matthew Sharp (Feral Records)


  1. ^ a b "Dhafer Youssef: 'If you are a jazz musician, it's your destiny and that's it'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2017-08-30.
  2. ^ Ralf Dombrowski (Translation from German: Nancy Joyce) (2005). "From Koran School to the First League in European Jazz". Qantara.de. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
  3. ^ "Awards For World Music 2003: Audience Award". BBC Radio 3. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
  4. ^ "Background information". ECM. Archived from the original on 2016-01-17. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
  5. ^ "Become an FT subscriber to read | Financial Times".
  6. ^ Lescharts.com: Dhafer Youssef discography
  7. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums Fusionnes - SNEP (Week 38, 2016)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2016.

External links[edit]