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Moods: Instrumental World: Middle East Contemporary Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Crossover Jazz Jazz: Piano Jazz

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Tarek Yamani

Born and raised in Beirut, Tarek is an award winning composer and a self-taught jazz pianist who got exposed to Jazz around the age of 19. He developed a personal composition and playing style, called Afro Tarab, that embodies Arabic rhythms and modes with the complex African American sounds of jazz and vice versa.

Shortly after the release of his debut record “ASHUR”, Tarek’s music has been reaching out internationally - in Piano Solo, Piano Trio or larger formats - and has so far been very well received in prestigious venues such as the MuCEM museum (Marseille), the United Nations Assembly Hall (NYC), the Blue Whale (Los Angeles), the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Alexandria), the Ennejma Ezzahra (Tunis), and the Iridium (NYC), to name just a few.

In 2010, Tarek won the "Thelonious Monk Int'l Jazz Composer’s Competition" for his composition "Sama'i Yamani" which is released as a single featuring singer Rasha Rizk.

On April 30th 2012, Tarek was invited to be among the 32 musicians from 13 countries to perform in the inaugural of the "International Jazz Day" held at the UN headquarters in New York - along with Wayne Shorter, Richard Bona, Zakir Hussein & Vinnie Colaiuta- a celebration announced by UNESCO and Herbie Hancock to proclaim jazz as an international language.

Tarek is now touring with his Piano Solo and Piano Trio performances whose repertoire ranges from Arabic, Brazilian & Jazz standards to original compositions that are based in rhythms and modes from the Arabic world.

Since arriving to NYC in 2011, Tarek has played as a leader or sideman, in New York's renowned jazz clubs such as the Lenox Lounge, Iridium, Smoke, Smalls, Cornelia Street Cafe, Bill’s Place, The Stone, Cleopatra's Needle, Le Poisson Rouge, Shapeshifter Lab, Nublu, Somethin Jazz Club & 55 Bar.

Internationally, Tarek has performed in different formations around Europe, North Africa, USA and the Middle East and shared the stage with great artists such as Michael Moore, Troy Roberts, Ari Hoenig, Ambrose Akinmusire, Rudy Royston, Jimmy Greene, Khaled Yassine, Bill Saxton, Drew Gress & Chico Freeman to name a few.

On April 30th 2013, Tarek founded, organized & produced a unique initiative called “Beirut Speaks Jazz” which aims to promote jazz in Lebanon by igniting adventurous collaborations between artists from the worlds of rock, pop, tarab, rap, blues and alternative over the foundations of jazz. So far the event has been an incredible success gathering 33 musicians on one stage and in different combinations. Among the invited artists were Hamed Sinno (Mashrou’ Leila), Oumeima El Khalil, Erin Mikaelian (Pindoll), Tania Saleh, Mazen El Sayed, Chady Nashef, Rasha Rizk, Ghazi Abdel Baki, Elie Afif, Makram Abol Hosn, Bashar Farran, Nidal Abu Samra and many more.

Tarek is the recipient of many awards such as the Givanas Foundation grant, the Huygens scholarship, the Andrea Elkenbracht award, the Prins Bernhard Culture fund, the Thelonious Monk Composers Competition prize, the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency and the New Dutch composition contest.

Apart from music, Tarek has co-written a feature film entitled “Decoding Bach”, which was selected by the New York Foundation for the Arts for their fiscal sponsorship program.

He recently wrote the music of “ASH”, a short film by Yasmina Hatem, produced by Cinephilia Productions & which had its world premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival 2013.

Tarek has served as a music juror for the 2013 cycle of the leading "Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC)".

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