Category: Biographie


Through his musical repertoire built with all his albums including unreleased tracks, Smadj SOLO explores the OUD and his link with modern music. From classical lute to Turkish and arabic taksims.

From works inspired by the masters to the first steps towards more electric and modern styles, to end up by the electric oud under various shapes in the most morderns electrical universes.


Born in Tunisia, Jean-Pierre Smadja alias Smadj grew up listening oriental music, funk and soul , Brazilian and folk music. After a first album released in 1994, “Tatoom presente Tatoom”, it is only in 2000 that he reached an international reputation due to “Equilibriste” a fusion between acoustics and electronics, he earned him the fourth position in the “European World Music Charts.”

In 2002, Smadj joins Mehdi Haddab to found the DuOud duo, to give a new lease on life to this ancient instrument wich is the arabic Oud in the nineteenth century.

Their first album Wild Serenade stands out from the new musics of this time, two years world tour and a wide appreciation follow in, symbolized especially by an award in “best album” category from prestigious BBC World Music Awards .

In 2003, Smadj joins the Turkish master percusionist Burhan Öçal for Burhan Öçal & The Trakya All Stars project (this album has become a classic today). Based in Istanbul, which becomes one of his regular home ports and where West meets East, he plays and composes much over his trips and meetings, while working as an artistic producer with the pianist Laurent de Wilde,which he produced “Stories” album for Warner Jazz. There are many Other accomplishments that punctuate his career (Turkish singers Aysu and Kivilcim, Burhan Öcal and Artkonik percussionists for 2 more albums and more to come as “Bilek”…).

He leads a remixer career as well (Rokia Traoré, Les Yeux Noirs, Kocani Orkestra …).

The next year Smadj releases “Take It and Drive” on the “Most Records” English label exploring thus a more “lounge” electronic mood; he brings in Talvin Singh, Amit Chatterjee, Rokia Traoré, Mehdi Haddab and Dom Farkas. In 2005, he continues to work with Mehdi Haddab with the release of DuOud new album, Sakat, registered in Yemen with traditional musicians from the region – during a residency the duo settled in Sanaa, fascinated by sung poetry and the unique way of playing the Yemenis oud –

It is also this year that Smadj released “SOS Presents,” a trio work done with “Orhan Osman” with bouzouki and the clarinetist Savas Zurnaci, two Turkish virtuosos who mix their musical visions to Smadj’s one.

2009 was a fertile year since “Ping Kong”, the third (and last) DuOud album born out at “World Village” and the musician materializes one of his dreams, which is the achievement of an instrumental love songs disk “Selin ” dedicated to his beloved, with Erik Truffaz and Talvin Singh.

Since then, “Smadj” worked on traditional and Alevi religious music with his friend saz player “Cem Yildiz” (an album was released in Turkey on March 2010 and later in France). He also composed and conducted the program “Oud according to Smadj”, given to “Saint-Denis” Basilica in June 2010 with the participation of Natacha Atlas, Ibrahim Maalouf, Mehdi Haddab and Alok Verma, including a string ensemble . Other recent

projects include his series of creations at Center for Fine-Arts in Brussels, he was the resident artist (Maqam Project, Sringz quintet, with Duo “Ballaké Sissoko” Smadj and friends …) and then this album “Fuck the DJ” dedicated in an offset manner and highly imaginative to the dance culture, published in 2012.

Spleen is a new album, it signs his come back to the modern interbreeding center. Smadj,oud shaman more than ever, uses acoustics, electricity and machinery to carve a beautiful musical puzzle.

Powered by three complementary components, his seductive impact comes directly from the harmony the author set up between tradition and modernity – these two terms can be easily used in the plural because of their multiciplicity.

Tour Dates : 

– 20 November 2015 Smadj Oud Solotronic in Montreuil (Le Bidule Truc), France

– 11 December 2015Smadj Oud Solotronic in Pantin (La Menuiserie), France

– 09 January 2016 in Paris (SunSet), France

– 11 February 2016 in Grenoble (Aux Pruniers Sauvages), France

Listen to a few tracks : 

Videos :

 Book SMADJ with his “Oud Solotronic show” :

Visit his website here !

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