Jafar Hasan Aboud & the Mazguf Ensemble

Jafar Hasan Aboud
Jafar Hasan Aboud

Watch live video clips with Jafar Hasan Aboud & the Maguf ensemble!

Clip 1 Clip 2 Clip 3

See a video about the band’s tour to Baghdad!

Jafar Hasan Aboud is Iraq’s perhaps most wellknown and respected composer, whose music moves freely between Classical Arabic Maqam music, Arabic folklore and Western influenced popular music. His songs are great hits to the Iraqi general public, and he has also worked in other Arab countries such as Dubai and Qatar. Furthermore, he is a brilliant oud player. Being forced to escape during the Iraqi war, Jafar ended up as a refugee in Sweden, living there in almost total anonymity, until Pär Moberg stumbled upon him, and was amazed by what he heard. A grant from the Swedish Arts council allowed Jafar to write and perform music together with the band World Mix Orhchestra.  You can watch a video clip from that concert here. They have since also performed with Malmö Opera orchestra. In May 2013, it was possible for Jafar to return to Iraq, and bring with him the newly formed Mazguf Ensemble, to Baghdad for a concert at the National Theatre. The group consisted of some of Denmark’s and Sweden’s finest performers within world music. The concert was broadcasted on all major Iraqi TV channels. It was quite unique for a Western music group to dare to travel to Baghdad in the turmoil then starting to grow in Baghdad.

Nowadays, Mazguf Ensemble is more like a collective, whose members differs from performance to performance. Besides Jafar and Pär Moberg, saxophones, some of the musicians who frequently appear are:

  • Annika Jessen, clarinet
  • Tina Quartey, percussion
  • Allan Skrobe, guitar
  • Erik Olevik, bass
  • Ulrik Brohus, drums
  • Omar Mofleh, percussion
  • Nabil Kassis, qanoun
  • Mats Ingvarsson, bass
  • Emma Lundbeck, bass

The Baghdad Sessions

In cooperation with Moriska Paviljongen, the City of Malmö, The Swedish Arts council and Musik i Syd, Mazguf ensemble is running a continuous scene for Music from the Middle East in Malmö: The Baghdad Sessions. The in-house band is Mazuf ensemble and Jafar. For every night, a guest artist is invited. Often this is a local musician with roots from the Middle East, but sometimes also an internationally known artist. The purpose of the club is to offer a platform for the multicultural population of Malmö to meet around a common interest for music from the Middle East, no matter where you were born and raised. Follow us on Facebook!

musik_i_syd_logo_posMoriska paviljongen logga


Upcoming concerts:

Spring season 2018

Five Baghdad Sessions concerts are scheduled at Moriska paviljongen, Malmö, Sweden, in the spring of 2018. Entry is free, and the events take place in connection with After Work at Moriskan, which means that between 5 and 7 PM, whoever buys something to drink in the bar can have free food buffet as long as it lasts! Each evening has a fascinating guest star. Besides that, we will also make a few guest appearances in other venues. The dates for the Spring are:

    • 23rd of Feb 2018 7 pm @ Moriska paviljongen. Guest artist Ali Sabah, oud. Listen to Qussa Sharqia (Ali Sabah) and Eydish Kan Fi Nas (Fairuz) here!
[audio: Qussa-Sharqia.mp3, Eydish-Kan-Fi-Nas.mp3]
    • 1st of March 2018 7 pm @ Thursday Sessions at Skissernas Museum, Lund. With Pär Moberg (sax), Emma Lundbeck (double bass) and Ali Sabah (oud). Before the concert guided tour of the museum in arabic!
    • 14th of March 2018 7 pm @ Skånes Dansteater: Nayrab. A music night where Pär Moberg talks and plays with the musicians that perform in the dance show  Nayrab: Tarek Alhadj (composer and oud), Behzad Souratgar (tar and setar) and Mostafa Al Kafafi (percussion).
    • 23rd of March 2018 7 pm @ Moriska paviljongen. Guest artist: Bashar Sharifah, cello. Listen to Bali Mag (trad) and El Hob Alwal (Mohammed Abdul Wahab) here!
[audio: El-Hob-Alway.mp3, Bali-Mag.mp3]
  • 28 mars 2018 kl 18 @ Church of Limhamn. Syrian Easter with Pär & Nabil. The Syrian Orthodox church is one of the oldest in the world. Pär and Nabil will play Syrian Easter music and other music from Syria. In cooperation with the Christian Congregation of Limhamn.
  • 27th of April 2018 7 pm @ Moriska paviljongen.
    Guest artist: Reza Shayesteh, Persian instruments and vocals.
  • 25th of May 2018 7 pm @ Moriska paviljongen.
    Gästartist: Nadin al Khalidi, vocals and mandol.
  • 29th of June 2018 7 pm @ Moriska paviljongen. This concluding night of the Spring season will offer a Mazguf Ensemble de Luxe, with a 10 piece band consisting of some of our most beloved previous guests, plus that we make a detour to Afghanistan with two special guests: Farhad Ishrat (vocals and harmonium) and Sami Haya (tabla).

Previous Concerts

May 2013: National theatre of Iraq, Baghdad. Watch video clip above!

December 2013. Moriskan, Malmö, Sweden.Watch video clip above.

16th of May 2015. Moriskan Malmö. Premiere for Club Baghdad.

8th of August 2015. Pildammsteatern, Malmö. Premiere for the movie “Stories from Malmö – Sounds of Exile”, which features Jafar as one of the main characters.

11th of Sept 2015: Klubb Baghdad @ Moriskan Malmö. Klubb Baghdad featuring Ramy Essam, Egypt. Listen to our version of Ramy’s song Hela Hela below!

[audio: Hela_Hela.mp3]

30th of Oct 2015: Klubb Baghdad @ Moriska paviljongen in Malmö.Guest artist Nabil Kassis, qanoun master from Syria.

27th of Nov 2015: Klubb Baghdad @ Moriska Paviljongen in Malmö. Double concert with Mazguf Ensemble and Nordic Ishrak Ensemble.

Stories from Malmö, Sounds of Exile – Tour 2016!

A tour, where the film about Jafar and two other immigrated musicians was shown, and an “in house band” accompanied them all in a concert.

12th of May, Global, Copenhagen, Denmark

13th of May, Kulturkvarteret, Kristianstad, Sweden

15th of May, Moriska Paviljongen, Malmö, Sweden

16th of May, Mejeriet, Lund, Sweden.

19th of May 2016: “A New Sweden”, Palladium. Jafar och Nabil was in focus at this concert, which featured several artists that had arrived in Swede as refugees. The concert was recorded by Swedish National Radio.

28th of May 2016: Mini tour of Skåne. We first performed at Skivarp Christian congregation, and then at  Viljan cultural association in Östra Hoby, both times at events trying to bridge the gap between “old” and “new” Swedes.

23rd of Sept 2016: Baghdad Sessions @ Moriska Paviljongen in Malmö. Guest artist Nabil Kassis, qanoun.

28th of October 2016: Baghdad Sessions @Moriska Paviljongen in Malmö. Guest Artist Marine Kabbabe, Germany/Syria, vocalist.

25th of November 2016: Baghdad Sessions @Moriska Paviljongen in Malmö. Guest artist: Yair Dalal, oud, violin and vocals

10th of February 2017: Baghdad Sessions @Moriska Paviljongen in Malmö. Guest artist: Ali Sabah, oud, and Ghazwan Numan, viola.

10th of March 2017: Baghdad Sessions @Moriska Paviljongen in Malmö. Guest artists: Fatma Zidane (vocals), Lars Bo Kujahn, (percussion), and Bilal Irshed, oud. Hear the song “El Hawa” (Fairuz) from the concert below!

[audio: el_hawa.mp3]

7th of April 2017: Baghdad Sessions @Moriska Paviljongen in Malmö. Guest artist: Omar Mofleh, percussion.

11th of July 2017, 5 PM: Baghdad Sessions@Ellinge Slott, Eslöv, Sweden. Guest artist: Marine Kabbabe, singer from Aleppo, Syria, who now lives in Germany.

24th of October 2017 @ Inter Arts Center, Malmö, Sweden. Performance at a conference for international coordinators at the Music Academies of the Nordic countries, where we performed and told about Baghdad Sessions.

16th of November 2017 @ Kulturkvarteret, Kristianstad, Sweden. Performance at a thematic day, “Music for Integration”.

22nd of Jan 2018 @ Palladium, Malmö, Sweden. Performance at a conference for all the producers of the Regional Music Boards of Sweden.