Foreign Affairs

„Foreign Affairs” is a carte blanche that was given by Porgy & Bess to Dhafer Youssef in 1997. At that time Dhafer Youssef was a kid, who moved to Vienna with the ambition to complete his musical training. The creative exaltation provided by multiculturalism in Vienna and the multiple encounters he has there open for him a new world of possibilities. Seduced by jazz and other musical genres such as Indian music, he takes part in numerous jam sessions and encounters at different bars and clubs with for instance Wolfgang Pusching. He finally meets Gerhard Reiter, the Austrian percussionist with whom he founds his first band, „Zeryab”. In 1996, his multiple discoveries and experiences in Vienna give birth to his first album „Musafir” (The Traveler, in Arabic). This album is the result of an atypical encounter with Anton Burger, Achim Tang, Jatinder Thakur and Otto Lechner. He presents his project at Porgy & Bess, the renowned Viennese club. After a successful first night, he is offered a carte blanche „Foreign Affairs” and starts a series of monthly concerts at the club. There he meets Nguyen Lê, the French guitarist of Vietnamese origins but also Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu who invites him to several performances throughout Europe. It was a huge success. Dhafer gains in maturity over the concerts and confirms his musical project. Than it was the beginning of an authentic musical identity impregnated with the artist’s origins without falling into typical Orientalism. A beautiful career started from Vienna, Porgy & Bess and the Oud master vocalist and composer played with musicians from every corner of the globe including Herbie Hancock, Zakir Hussain…

Dhafer Youssef is at the vanguard of a movement in contemporary music that brings east and west together. He is one of the most inventive Oud player in the world and has succeeded in Freeing the instrument from its traditional role and bringing it to Jazz. Ode to friendship, to the city of Vienna today we are presenting in Porgy & Bess „Foreign Affairs” suite … „When Christophe gav me the carte blanche, he gave me life at that time, i was a poor kid working, cleaning window glasses, trying to survive in that city and make my dream happens. I was working the whole month, and waiting for Sunday night to go on stage and share my story through music, that experience was a life experience. What i got from that experience was the equivalent of maybe 10years…” (Dhafer Youssef)

A Carte blanche with 5 concerts delivered by Dhafer Youssef with different theme and different lineup. Join the celebrations!