Smadj is serial worker. He released a bunch of solo projects, played, recorded and toured with fellow oudist Mehdi Haddab (DuOuD), continuing to serve as an Artistic Director asked from Australia to Turkey.
Jean-Pierre Smadja (aka Smadj) was born in Tunisia. Arriving soon after in Paris, he became one of the landmark of the capital effervescent scene. Dropping the guitar for the oud (Turkish or Arabic lute), he made himself a name at an international scale with his electric and wild arrangements of the most traditional taksims (instrumental and solo introduction of a maqâm).
Mixing acoustic and electric is Smadj’s signature : his repertory is going from traditional oud – with or without effects and MIDI processing to electric oud ; from compositions in the way of the classic masters to electronic influences.
He collaborates with Talvin Singh, Ibrahim Maalouf, Erik Truffaz, Malik Mezzadri, Stephano di Baptista, Amit Chatterjee, Rokia Traoré, Mehdi Haddab, Natacha Atlas, Malouma … Smadj is also a well-known producer for jazz and word music (Kirklirili il siniri/Burhan Öçal & The Trakya All Stars featuring Smadj, Laurent de Wilde’s “Stories”…).
SOLOTRONIC is one of his long-term project. Meeting many musicians along the way, Smadj is throwing bridges between many cultures and music styles, playing without distinctions with traditional musicians from Shandong Province in China or the Algerian Maalouf singer Hamdi Benani, B-Boy Hip-Hop raising names in Zanzibar (Blackfit Raggae) or the acclaimed Mozambiquan pop singer Chico Antonio…
Many tours already with this solo + guest project fittingly called Solotronic + : Australia tour (11 shows), East Africa Tour – Ouganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Djibouti – (10 shows), Turkey (2 shows), Morocco (5 shows), South Africa and Zimbabwe (6 shows), China (11 shows)… and nearly as many collaborations : Cyno Emcee Moses, Giovanni Kremer, Kiyingi, Adel Bado, Abayazid Ali Dahabli, Melakou, Orhan Osman, Cem Yildiz, Noa Wax, Tlale Makhene, Carlo Mombelli, Hope Maseke, Mo Laudi…
“His Smadjesty returns with an electro-oud odyssey […] Solotronics is the fruit of Smadj whirlwind 70-date 2019 global tour suffused by subtle rythms from Zanzibar, Morocco and Nairobi” Daniel Brown, Songlines – March 2018
Other projects : DuOuD (with Mehdi Haddab), Maputo Electronico (with Chico Antonio & Rhodalia Silvestre)