From an early age, Aleph Abi Saad knew that music, so present in his family, was going to be his great vocation, "not only a dream, but a destiny that he had to fulfil". At the age of three, his little fingers were already playing the keys of an old wooden piano. That passion grew with time, as did the need to explore and get to know other rhythms, other music, which is why his compositions draw from different cultures and why his concerts show us an interesting fusion from the typical melodies of his homeland to jazz, without forgetting a genre as deeply rooted in Spain as flamenco.
Next month he begins a European tour in Madrid that will also take him to Paris, where in 2016 he experienced one of his greatest moments at the Olympia Theatre, Amsterdam and Geneva. "From Lebanon to the World" is the name of this tour organised by MIR'A, an art centre that was born in the French capital with the aim of promoting and publicising artists from the Middle East and North Africa. Aleph Abi Saad tells us about his musical career, his projects for the immediate future, the roots and cultural richness of his country and his belief in the power of music to "unite people from all walks of life".
Where did your relationship with music and your love for the piano come from?
My profound connection to music and the piano originates from my early exposure, through my parents, to a diverse range of musical genres, including tango, flamenco, and oriental melodies. It felt as if these tunes were a divine inspiration, guiding my fingers across the piano keys, and I knew from a young age that music was my calling
Do you remember the first time you played for an audience? Did you feel it was the beginning of something important or did you not think about it?
I remember very clearly my first performance at the tender age of 7 during a family gathering. At that moment, I sensed the significance of sharing my music with an audience, like the inception of a remarkable journey into the world of music. It ignited a passion within me that has only grown stronger with time
What has music brought to your personal life?
Music is very present in my personal life, serving as a vessel for emotional expression and connection with others. It brings me immense joy and allows me to communicate feelings and experiences that words alone cannot convey.
Did you ever think you would get where you are now?
My belief in my musical path and the vision I held from the beginning have been instrumental in my journey to where I am today. I always had a sense that success in music was not just a dream but a destiny I was meant to fulfill. God is good, he never left my side.
You have opted for fusion, from Lebanese popular compositions to jazz and flamenco... What do you look for or what do you find in these mixtures?
Fusion in music is a creative container that empowers me to blend the Lebanese melodies with the diverse harmonies of jazz and flamenco. This artistic fusion allows me to craft a unique sound that resonates with my roots and bridges cultures.
You have worked with Spanish instrumentalists such as Pablo Martín Carminero, Grammy winner, Yelsy Heredia, Diego Galaz... What did you learn from them? What was the experience like?
Collaborating with talented Spanish instrumentalists like Pablo Martín Carminero Antonio Serrano and Yelsy Heredia was an enriching experience. Their musical expertise and cultural backgrounds provided fresh perspectives that have deeply influenced me.
Do you believe that music can bring people closer together?
Undoubtedly, music possesses the remarkable ability to transcend boundaries and unite people from all walks of life. It serves as a universal language, that conveys love, understanding and harmony in a world that often craves connection.
Your tour of Europe begins, on 9 October I will be at the Teatro Lara in Madrid with your concert "From Lebanon to the World". Then Paris, Amsterdam, Geneva... What do you bring us from your country? What would you like to transmit?
With "From Lebanon to the World," my mission is to share the vibrant musical heritage of Lebanon while infusing it with global influences. Through this musical journey, I aim to share the profound beauty and resilience of my homeland.
Lebanon, a country that is suffering a serious economic and social crisis...
Lebanon's current economic and social challenges are deeply concerning, and I hope that through my music, I can shed light on the cultural richness and spirit of the Lebanese people during these trying times. We are a very resilient species and I am hopeful that the future is bright.
Let's finish with a look into the future, can you tell us about your next project?
Looking ahead, I am excited to continue exploring new musical horizons, collaborating with talented artists from around the world, and crafting compositions that speak to the depths of the human soul. I am getting ready for a tour in the US in May 2024, will be visiting Houston, Detroit, LA, Boston and New York.