Born and raised in Morocco, Brahim Fribgane was steeped in the sounds of North African, Gnawa, Berber, Arabic and Andulusian musical traditions from an early age. By age 16, Fribgane was playing guitar at small shows in Casablanca.
He soon emerged as a significant contributor to the development of a new style of Moroccan pop that emerged in the early 1980s. Fribgane’s musical adventures took a new turn later that same decade when he began to play the doumbek, a traditional North African drum.
Greatly influenced by the Iraqi musician Mounir Bashir, Fribgane took up the oud and soon began using the traditional Levantine stringed instrument to explore more experimental styles. Whether playing folkloric Berber songs, complex and soulful Arabic music, or a fusion of jazz, samba, reggae, and Indian traditions, Fribgane has been seminal in the evolution of the Moroccan music scene. Resisting easy classifications, Fribgane’s present style represents important new directions in world music.
Fribgane plays an oud from his native Morocco, but reports "the best ouds are made in Syria and Iraq." Listen to more of Fribgane, and a sample of his music, in the audio track below.
In this exclusive audio interview, renowned Moroccan oud player and percussionist Brahim Fribgane describes his love of sound, his life of music and the broader significance of Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas.
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