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.
Watch live video clips with Jafar Hasan Aboud & the Maguf ensemble!
See a video about the band’s tour to Baghdad!
Nowadays, Mazguf Ensemble has become more like a collective, whose members differs from performance to performance. Pär Moberg, saxophones, is normally the band leader, though. Some of the many musicians who have appeared are:
- Annika Jessen, clarinet
- Bader Debs, percussion
- Tina Quartey, percussion
- Ali Sabah, Oud
- Allan Skrobe, guitar
- Marine Kabbabe, vocals
- Erik Olevik, bass
- Ghazwan Numan, viola
- Bilal Irshed, oud
- Fatma Zidane, vocals
- Lars Bo Kujahn, percussion
- Yair Dalal, vocals, oud, violin
- Ulrik Brohus, drums
- Nabil Kassis, qanoun
- Bakri Hemmami, vocals, percussion
- Bashar Sharifah, cello
- Dan Svensson, percussion
- Nadin al Khalidi, vocals, mandol
- Omar Moffleh, percussion
- Yahia Alnajem, vocals, oud, percussion
- Muhittin Kemal, qanoun
- Mats Ingvarsson, bass
- Naim Kassis, piano
- Emma Lundbeck, bass
The Baghdad Sessions
In cooperation with Moriska Paviljongen, the City of Malmö, and the Swedish Arts council, 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. 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. Most often the concerts are free, and happen in connection with the After Work of Moriska paviljongen, which means between 5 and 7 PM, if you buy a drink, there’s free food also! Follow us on Facebook!
See video Clips from Baghdad Sessions!
Saturday 25 Januari@Skurup Library: Release for the audio book version of the book “The Test in Philipopolis” by Pär Moberg. On stage was among others the great oud player Ahmad Al-Khatib. In collaboration with Skurups Municipality.
Saturday 8th of February@ Konsul Perssons Villa, Helsingborg. Baghdad Sessions at Kulturwknd with Pär Moberg, Nabil Kassis, Emma Lundbeck and Yahia Alnajem.
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.
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.
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 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!
1st of March 2018 @ Thursday Sessions at Skissernas Museum, Lund. With Pär Moberg (sax), Emma Lundbeck (double bass) and Ali Sabah (oud).
14th of March 2018 @ Skånes Dance Theatre: Nayrab. A music night where Pär Moberg talks and plays with the musicians that take part in the performance Nayrab: Tarek Alhadj (composer and oud), Behzad Souratgar (tar and setar) and Mostafa Al Kafafi (percussion).
23rd of March 2018 @ Moriska paviljongen. Guest artist: Bashar Sharifah, cello. Listen to Bali Mag (trad) and El Hob Alwal (Mohammed Abdul Wahab) here!
28th of March @ Church of Limhamn. Syrian Easter with Pär & Nabil. The Syrian Orthodox church is one of the oldest in the world. Pär and Nabil played music from the Syrian Easter celebration and some other Syrian music. In cooperation with the congregation of Limhamn.
27th of April 2018 @ Moriska paviljongen.
Guest artist: Reza Shayesteh, persian instruments and vocals.
25th of May 2018 @ Moriska paviljongen.
Guest artist: Nadin al Khalidi, vocals and mandol.
29th of June 2018 @ Moriska paviljongen. Mazguf de Luxe! With 10 musicians on stage where several of our reocurring musicians took part, plus that we took a detour to Afghanistan with our specially invited guests Farhad Ishrat (vocals and harmonium) and Sami Haya (tablas).
11th of August 2018 @Tyrolen, Alvesta. “Världens Fest på Tyrolen”, mini folk festival.
19th of Sept 2018 @Eslöv Library. “Arabisk musik- en svensk angelägenhet!”. Lecture about Arabic music by Pär Moberg, with live musik by him together with Nabil Kassis and Emma Lundbeck. In collaboration with Malmö Academy of Music.
15th of Nov 2018 @ Simrishamns Library. “Arabisk musik- en svensk angelägenhet!”. Lecture about Arabic music by Pär Moberg, with live musik by him together with Nabil Kassis. In collaboration with Malmö Academy of Music.
5th of Dec 2018 @ Löddeköpinge Bibliotek. “Arabisk musik- en svensk angelägenhet!”. Lecture about Arabic music by Pär Moberg, with live musik by him together with Nabil Kassis. In collaboration with Malmö Academy of Music.
8 mars 2019 @ Moriska paviljongen. Guest artist Muhittin Kemal(qanoun) and Serap Gürtli (vocals), Turkey/Germany.
4th of April 2019 @Moriska paviljongen. Support concert for Farhad Ishrat in protest against his expulsion from Sweden, where Mazguf Ensemble took part.
14th of September 2019@Moriska Paviljongen. Shathir band with Alaa Rashid.
8th of Oct 2019 @Höganäs library. “Arabisk musik- en svensk angelägenhet!”. Lecture about Arabic music by Pär Moberg, with live musik by him together with Nabil Kassis and Yahia Alnajem. In collaboration with Malmö Academy of Music.