The oud, the predecessor of the western lute, is a stringed instrument that enjoyed great popularity in the late Middle Ages, particularly in Islamic countries. Although the Dutchman and guitar virtuoso Jan Akkerman has on occasion turned his hand to this instrument, it is Dhafer Youssef
who truly gave the oud a new place on the contemporary music scene. As a child, the Tunisian built his first oud out of litter that he found along the coastline of his birthplace Teboulba. Since then, he has cherished the baroque instrument with heart and soul. Only after years of playing as a wedding musician did Dhafer have enough money to buy a 'real' oud and the world soon heard him. Since that time, the 41-year-old North African has recorded several successful albums, worked in various European countries and he has won the prestigious BBC WorldMusic Award. Dhafer will be performing at the North Sea Jazz Festival with an interesting jazz line-up. He will enchant his audience with a musical and multicultural improvisation session as only he can produce on this historical and mysterious instrument.