Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Malika Zarra

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Origin  Paris, France
Name  Malika Zarra
Occupation(s)  singer
Role  Singer ·

Years active  2006–present
Record label  Motema Music
Labels  Motema Music
Genres  Jazz, World music
Malika Zarra Wafin Moroccan Connections in America
Associated acts  Michael Cain John Zorn Marcin Wasilewski
Albums  On the ebony road, Berber Taxi, Mycale: Book of Angels Volume 13
Awards  Independent Music Award for Best Song - World Beat
Similar People  Amy Lee, Sofia Rei, Dave Eggar, Jihad Muhammad, Davi Vieira

World jazz singer malika zarra live at the jazz standard

Malika Zarra is a Moroccan-born, French American singer, composer, and music producer now based in New York City known for singing in Moroccan Arabic, Berber, French, and English. Her music has been on the JazzWeek Top 20 radio chart in world music.


Malika Zarra Malika Zarra Artways Productions

World music malika zarra run



Zarra was born in Ouled Teima, the eldest of five children to a Berber mother from the High Atlas and a father from Tata. Her family moved to Paris when she was young, but remained culturally Moroccan in the home. In school, she studied clarinet. She became interested in jazz because it was similar to Arabic traditional music in the core importance of improvisation. Eventually, she studied at the jazz conservatories at Tours and Marseilles and studied privately with Sarah Lazarus and Françoise Galais. On the Paris scene, she appeared at venues including Festival L'esprit Jazz de St Germain, Sunside/Sunset, and Cité de la Musique. She started to draw serious attention by singing jazz standards to her own Arabic translations.

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Subsequently, she performed or recorded with John Zorn, Makoto Ozone, Tommy Campbell, Will Calhoun, Lonnie Plaxico, Michael Cain, Brad Jones, Jacques Schwarz-Bart, David Gilmore, and Gretchen Parlato, among others.

Malika Zarra breath of life MALIKA ZARRA Malika Zarra Mixtape

She moved to New York City, eventually settling in Jersey City, in 2010, where she was signed on the Motéma Music label.

Malika Zarra Jersey City singer to bring Moroccan French and jazz

She has appeared at Carnegie Hall (opening for Bobby McFerrin), the London Jazz Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Opera House Lincoln Center, the Apollo Theater, the Festival du Monde Arabe, the Salzburg Jazz Festival, Festival Nuits d’Afrique Montreal, the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, Brooklyn Maqam Festival, Blue Note Jazz Club, The Jazz Standard, Joe's Pub, Sob's (opening for Sara Tavares), Smoke Jazz Club, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Chorus Jazz Club, Porgy & Bess Jazz Club, Domicil Jazz Club, WDR 3, and Klub Cankarjevega Doma.


Malika Zarra Malika Zarra Artways Productions

Zarra's music is influenced by traditional Berber music, Gnawa music, Chaabi, French popular music, jazz, house, funk, dance, and traditional African music. Specific personal influences include Hajja Hamdaouia, Rais Mohand, Farid al-Atrash, Um Kalthoum, Warda Al-Jazairia, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby McFerrin, Thelonious Monk, Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin.

Her band includes Francis Jacob on acoustic and electric guitars, Brahim Fribgane on oud, cajón, bendir, tamtam, and darbuka, Michael Cain on piano, synthesizers, and Rhodes piano, Mamadou Ba on bass, Harvey Wirht on percussion, and Jasser Haj Youssef on viola and violin.

as leader

  • On the Ebony Road (CD Baby, 2006)
  • Berber Taxi (Motéma Music, 2011)
  • with Mycale

  • Mycale: Book of Angels Volume 13 (Tzadik, 2009)
  • as guest artist

  • John Zorn - Nova Express (Tadzik, 2011)
  • Marcin Wasilewski Trio - Faithful (ECM, 2011)
  • Amy Lee - Aftermath (110 Records, Inc, 2014)
  • References

    Malika Zarra Wikipedia

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