Ali Khattab Group
- Ali Khattab flamenco guitar (Egipto)
- Nieves Hidalgo singer (España)
- Jorge Vera piano (Chile/España)
- Hesham Essam laud (Egipto)
- Shayan Fathi percussion (Iran/España)
“Khattab’s approach to the instrument is, naturally, Fla- menco, but his knowledge of odes from his home culture allows him to bring together and speak both languages with astonishing naturalness.”
Fermín Lobatón, El País
Ali Khattab is in a new phase of his musical journey; one that has already taken him from Egypt to Andalusia and then to concert halls around Europe. Born and raised in Cairo, where he became a musician, Ali became enamoured with the sound of flamenco guitar. After immersing himself in Andalusian culture, he began to combine the rhythms and modes of Arabic music with those of flamenco. The conversation between these styles has been the basis of his success to date, which includes two highly praised albums: ‘Al-Zarqa’ (2010) and ‘Sin País’ (2014).
As his journey progresses, Ali is opening up his approach to create more freedom and a more universal music. Whilst the Arabic maqamat and flamenco palos still form the roots of his unmistakable sound, he is now developing more harmonic elements which give a greater openness to his message. The inclusion of the piano, played by the rising star Jorge Vera, creates a new feel, intertwining with the virtuosic oud of Hesham Essam and underpinned by the percussion of Iranian multi-instrumentalist Shayan Fathi. This message, of freedom, of being ‘sin país’ (without borders) is also expressed in the lyrics of his new songs. Poems by great Andalusi writers and contemporary Egyptian poets, as well as Spanish poetry from the likes of Lorca, are sung by the mesmerising young flamenco singer Nieves Hidalgo.
This new sound is more romantic and more familiar to Western ears, but Ali’s sound loses nothing of its Arabic roots and its trans-Mediterranean personality. The new line up brings out all the dynamism and the melodic beauty of Ali’s compositions. It’s a truly international music that reaches out, beyond borders, to all who are willing to hear it.
“Here’s a musician at work who has the ability to com- bine virtuosity and intelligence with a good sense of atmosphere.”
Jos Schuring , Heaven Mag
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