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About Michel Sajrawy
b. 8 November 1970, Nazareth, Galilee, Israel. From the age of nine, Sajrawy studied guitar and composition in his homeland. Playing in local clubs in his late teens, he also studied at Nazareth’s Elite College. In 1995 he continued his studies in London, a period that included a course in composition at the London College of Music and Media where in 1999 he won the Wilfred Joseph Prize. Although his studies drew him especially towards film and television work, while in the UK he also played with many respected world music artists. By now a virtuoso performer and highly respected composer, he returned to Israel to begin a fruitful career as performer and composer. Sajrawy has described himself as a Christian Arab who lives in Israel but considers himself to be a Palestinian. Drawing his musical inspiration from the strikingly contrasting religious background of that troubled region, Sajrawy has managed to create a seamless whole from disparate Jewish, Arab and Christian traditions. Additionally, he deftly fuses his original take on the complex traditions of his homeland with avant garde classical music and contemporary rock and jazz, a technique heard to good effect on his 2006 debut Yathrib.
In the mid-00s, Sajrawy’s regular quartet featured Valery Lipetz (bass), Ameen Atrash (drums) and Darwish Darwish (oud). Among others with whom he has performed and sometimes recorded are rek player Ramzy Bisharat, guitarist Alex Carpani, jarra player Etamar Doari, violinists Bashir Asadi, Leonid Barshtak and Nigel Kennedy, and tabla player Kayed Silawi. Sajrawy has also been active as a record producer and sound technician with his own studio. Lively, entertaining and stimulating, Sajrawy’s music is a refreshing addition to world music.
- Nazareth, Galilee, Israel
- Nov 8, 1970