MARCEL KHALIFE is a distinguished composer, singer, and oud player that is best known for liberating the oud, an instrument integral to Arabic culture, from its traditionally strict techniques, expanding its musical possibilities, and contributing to its artistic and cultural revival. Over the decades, Khalife’s music and his own compositions have signified peace, reconciliation and breaking boundaries. He creates a sound that is always innovative, inspiring, and beautiful. Many of his recordings utilize traditional instruments mixed with western mainstays depicting a sophisticated musical marriage of classical Arabic and jazz music. As a composer, he demonstrates a deep attachment to and a profound understanding of the power of the written word. Khalife has distinguished himself not only as a virtuosuo oud player but also as a talented composer.
Khalife’s educational and humanitarian contributions are as numerous as his creative endeavors. A tireless promoter of the arts and culture in the Arab world, he has been the recipient of many prominent awards and has performed in the most prestigious music venues in the world. In his quest to renew the vibrancy and significance of the Arabic song, he has based songs on the words of some of the great contemporary Arab poets, particularly the Palestinian poet and journalist who eloquently wrote of the exile, struggles, and hopes of the Palestinian people, Mahmoud Darwish.
© 2013 LEAP Program