Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Glocal Talent

Tarek Yamani is one of my favourite pianists. Not favourite pianists in Lebanon, favourite pianists fullstop. The first time I saw him play I was around 18 years old, and what caught my attention was how fast and effortlessly his fingers moved along the piano, and how much I simply enjoyed listening. He was younger than the rest of the musicians, some of whom I knew because they were teaching in the school I was learning jazz piano in. It was a gig in Bar Louie back in the day when Gemmayzeh wasn't an explosion of bars and clubs every 2m.

A lot has happened from that day till today. Tarek went to pursue music in Holland, where he graduated with honours. He then won the prestigious Thelonius Monk International Jazz Composers Competition in 2010. I learned about this casually from a friend and was shocked that there were no big celebrations in the country to congratulate this enormous achievement. I felt so proud of him, because he was good enough.

From the last time I spoke with him a few months ago, he told me he was working on a CD with a trio. And now I found that he's also working on a film called 'Decoding Bach' in collaboration with director Darine Hotait. I wish him the best of luck in all his endeavours.