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An exploration of the African roots of Tunisian music with a hybrid ensemble mixing a Jazz quartet and traditional Tunisian percussions.Created By: Yacine Boulares
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Yacine BoularesBrooklyn, NY
After graduating with a BA in Philosophy French-Tunisian saxophonist and composer Yacine Boulares decides to take a year off to respond to the urge to play music. He takes his first music lessons and after studying under Andre Villeger for 3 years he wins the International Esprit Jazz Competition in Paris and is endorsed by legendary brand Selmer saxophones. A year later he enters the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris where his horizons broaden under the influence of peers and mentors such as Riccardo Del Fra and Francois Theberge. He soon understands the necessity to go to the roots of Jazz and in 2009 he is granted a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary music on a merit scholarship.
In New York, where he resides since 2009. the dream of meeting and playing with his idols becomes true and Yacine gets to learn from Chris Cheek, Donny Mc Caslin, Reggie Workman and with countless musicians who inspire him daily. But New York also exposes him to a myriad of different musics. Soon he is part of ex Fela Kuti’s drummer Jojo Kuo’s Afrobeat Collective, of late Cameroonian singer Martino Atangana’s African Blue Note, of Haitian Kompa legends Tabou Combo. In their musics, he finds a deep echo to his North African roots and the Bikutsi rhythms from Cameroon become reminiscent of the Stambeli trance rhythms and folk songs heard in Tunisia.
These influences urge him to find his own identity and his explorations of Cameroonian dance rhythms lead to the creation of AJOYO, a mystic brew of African tradition, jazz and soul.Yacine signs the music and lyrics of a repertoire that celebrates life, love and justice.The album is released in 2015 on Ropeadope Records and played on radios throughout the world from New Yorks’ WNYC to French RFI, London’s Jazz FM, National radio in Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria and Japan.
In 2014 he is part of an intimate band picked by producer and arranger Robert Sadin to accompany Opera legend Placido Domingo on his remarkable record Encanto Del Mar. Yacine is featured both as a soloist and arranger of the Andalusian standard Lamma Bada and gets the chance to work closely with Ira Coleman, Mark Feldman, Rhani Khridja, Chico Pinheiro and Bridget Kibbey.
This is also where he meets cellist Vincent Segal and gets the idea to explore the forgotten Tunisian Stambeli repertoire with Vincent on cello and drummer Nasheet Waits. In 2015 this project is granted the prestigious French American Jazz Exchange grant.The trio album was released in 2017 with the French label Accords Croises, and premiered in the US at the Lincoln Center Atrium in April 2018.
Concurrently to his activities as a performer and a composer,Yacine teaches song-writing at the French Heritage Language Program. In 2014 he is commissioned to compose a Musical telling the story of underserved French speaking African and Haitian communities in the USA. The show Amidou & Toya was premiered in NY in May 2014.
Nuba & Resilience are the last two movements of Yacine Boulares’ Suite for Abu Sadiya, composed for cello, soprano saxophone and drums. Inspired by Tunisian Stambeli, the healing trance music of the Afro-tunisians, the Suite tells the story of Abu Sadiya, the spiritual guide of African slaves brought into Tunisia from the Xith century.
Bahriyya ( the water spirits )
Bahriyya ( the water spirits )is the second movement of Yacine Boulares’ Suite for Abu Sadiya, composed for cello, soprano saxophone and drums. Inspired by Tunisian Stambeli, the healing trance music of the Afro-tunisians, the Suite tells the story of Abu Sadiya, the spiritual guide of African slaves brought into Tunisia from the Xith century.