2009 is a very special year for Abaji: back to Lebanon for his first concert on the land of his birth and after 33 years of exile, he is releasing his fifth album called "Origine Orients", one single origin for many Orients and preparing his new show with Lebanese oriental dancer Nawal Raad inspired by the folkloric Mediterranean dances with a contemporary approach.
Abaji is born in Lebanon from an Armenian-Greek father born in Smyrna (Turkey) and from an Armenian-Syrian mother born in Istanbul (Turkey) who met in Lebanon, land of all the exiled people of the region.
Abaji arrived in France in 1976 just after war began. He showed a passion for traditional Chinese medicine: Tai Chi Chuan and Do In. He studied at the Medical University in Paris and became a therapist, practising Tai Chi in psychiatric hospitals for seven years.
But music is a tradition in the family so he began the guitar at eleven followed by other instruments: clarinet and percussions and oud and bouzouki and flutes brought from his travels all around the world. Later he worked on the transformation of instruments to synthesize his musical passions: Indian music, Oriental music and blues.
Always searching for new ideas, he played the guitar with a violin bow on the stages of number of international festivals.
His encounter with Gabriel Yared was crucial, the famous film music composer listened to his first musics and encouraged him.
In 1996, Abaji composed his first album "Paris-Beyrouth", singing already in French and Arabic and English. Then "Bedouin' Blues" where in his song "Gibran" was discovered by the German world music label Network Medien. This song was one important discovery of "Desert Blues 2". Here began a five years collaboration with the label, "Oriental Voyage" next CD received the "Classica" label for the quality of the recording, then followed "Nomad Spirit", album where greats musicians were invited to play on many pieces: Armenian duduk player Djivan Gasparyan, Indian percussionist Ramesh Shotham and Moroccan musician Majid Bekkas. Two songs of this album have been compiled in "Diaspora of Rebetiko" and on "Emociones" best of 25 years of music of Network Medien.
Abaji is also a composer for films and television with French label Kosinus. He composed this year the music of Jean-Charles Deniaud's documentary "Le Temps des Otages" released on France 2 in april 2009.
Musical meetings led Abaji on the five continents: with the Zulus of South Africa, with the Indians of Mexico, the Gnawas of Morocco and the Kawwali of Lahore in Pakistan. Beauty in music is shared with everybody
2009 is a very special year because the Lebanese born living in Paris, multi-instrumentalist and singer decides to produce himself his fifth album, to record it in one take and to sing in the five languages of his family: French and Arabic and Greek and Turkish and Armenian.
We are in 2009, "Origine Orients" is yours.