Grand prix of the Académie Charles Cros 2017, Victoire du Jazz 2019 for the album Quest of the Invisible, (and nominated in 18, 21 and 23) First prize in Jazz category of the International Songwriting competition in 2023. Official selection Jazzahead! in 2019 (Quest of the Invisible) and in 2022 (Rhythms of Resistance – Un Autre Monde). Official selection WOMEX 2021 (Rhythms of Resistance – Un Autre Monde). Currently artist in residence at the Abbaye de Royaumont and at Points Communs nouvelle scène nationale Cergy-Pontoise / Val d’Oise.
For several years, the flutist Naïssam Jalal has been revealing a personal, vibrant musical universe which gives new meaning to the word freedom, both in substance and in form. In a continual search with boundless curiosity, she shines by her virtuous capacity to weave the bonds between different musical cultures and aesthetic fields.
Commitment through and in music, and creation in the service of commitment: these are the guidelines of her many artistic projects that have never ceased to surprise by their originality, their authenticity and their artistic qualities.
Born in Paris of Syrian parents, Naïssam Jalal’s artistic development from the age of 6 has been founded on countless personal and artistic encounters. At the age of 17, she discovered improvisation and graduated from the music conservatory. She went to study at the Higher Institute for Arab Music in Damascus, where she studied the ney flute. Later, she moved to Cairo for a few years and enriched her playing with the greatest masters of classical Arabic music such as the great violinist Abdu Dagher and Fathi Salama, with whom she performed in the most prestigious theatres. She participated in the creation of the El Dor El Awal and Bakash groups. Between musical training and a quest for self, these years of initiation — in the noble sense of the term — formed the foundation of the artist as she has become today.
Back in France, she accompanied the Lebanese rapper Rayess Bek and the Egyptian oud player Hazem Shaheen. In 2009, she unveiled the Noun Ya project, a duet with oud and guitar player Yann Pittard, with whom she toured in France, Syria, Japan, Lebanon and Tunisia, and released the album Aux Résistances.
From rap to contemporary jazz, tango and afrobeat, Naïssam Jalal plays with everyone and avoids all musical categorisation. She has been found alongside the cream of African musicians on the Parisian scene: Cheikh Tidiane Seck, Mamani Keita, Kiala, Brice Wassi, Hilaire Penda, Fatoumata Diawara, Moh, and Hervé Samb; or with big names in French and international jazz: Hamid Drake, Michael Blake, Médéric Collignon, Nelson Veras, Hubert Dupont and Mathilde Gross Viddal; in Arab music with Amazigh Kateb, Lena Shamamyan, Macadi Nahhas, Youssef Hbeish, Khaled Aljaramani and Ahmad Alkhatib; and with the Latin American musician and singer, Melingo.
She has recorded with Abdoulaye Traore, Mohamed Diaby, Napoleon Maddox, Aziz Sahmaoui, Mike Ladd, Sébastien Giniaux, the Aerophone jazz trio, and the Palestinian rap group Katibeh 5, and has composed music for two feature films (Karima Zoubir’s Camera Woman and Odile Demonfaucon’s In the hands).
In 2011 she founded her quintet Rhythms of Resistance, which produced two magnificent albums — Osloob Hayati (2015) and Almot Wala Almazala (2016) — and performed on major stages and in the biggest jazz festivals in France and Europe.
The year 2017 was rich in projects. In March, Naïssam Jalal built the first part of the repertoire of her new original production during her residency at Banlieues Bleues. She was accompanied by Leonardo Montana and Claude Tchamitchian in a trio with whom Hamid Drake guested to record this double album Quest of The Invisible, which will be released in March 2019.
In May 2017, she adapted her repertoire for the Tercea string quartet as part of an original production created for the Métis festival in Saint-Denis. In November 2017, Naïssam Jalal and her Rhythms of Resistance quintet took part in La Declaration, a choreographic and musical work for five dancers and five musicians by Sylvain Groud, whose premiere took place at the Théâtre-Sénart. That same month, Naïssam Jalal led an original production entitled The Sun Spirit, created for the Africolor Festival with Loy Ehrlich, Karim Ziad, Noura Mint Seymali and Leonardo Montana.
In September 2017, Naïssam Jalal recorded a new album in Cairo, Om Al Aagayeb, taking inspiration from her personal journey in Egypt through a wander through memories that are still alive. She also explored the possibilities of hip-hop with Palestinian rapper, composer and beatboxer Osloob in their band Al Akhareen (The Others) whose album was released in March 2018.
In July 2018 the album Liqaa — recorded a few years ago in a duet with the Egyptian oud player Hazem Shaheen — was finally released as part of the collection of the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris.
In 2018, she was also nominated for the Victoires du Jazz award in France.
The Rhythms of Resistance quintet has reached a maturity and musical cohesion that only the time spent by these 5 musicians playing on the road, makes it possible. Today, Naïssam Jalal presents a new repertoire Un autre monde which takes two forms on stage: a form in quintet alone and a form in quintet with symphonic orchestra, whose creation took place in February 2020 with the musicians of the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne conducted by Zahia Ziouani.
The album Un autre monde was released on February 5, 2021. Naïssam Jalal has composed and arranged this new music also for a symphony orchestra.
Inspired by her immersions in a hospital environment, Naïssam Jalal composed Healing rituals, as part of her residency at Royaumont Abbey and on the national scene Points communs. This ninth album, in quartet with the double bassist Claude Tchamitchian, the cellist Clément Petit and drummer-percussionist Zaza Desiderio, released in March 2023, is a new proof of the humanist conception of her musical creation. Popular with specialized media but also generalists, French and foreign radios (notably the BBC), loved by John Fordham from The Guardian and highlighted on streaming platforms, Healing Rituals was met with great success, both among professionals and the public. In June 2023 Naïssam Jalal was nominated for the 4th time for the french Victoires du Jazz, as an instrumental artist.
Introduction to Arabic music workshop and young audience show "Kan ya makan" (Once upon a time)
The objective of this workshop is to introduce Arab music to participants who can be young or adults or both at the same time: students of conservatory, college or members of a neighborhood house. Find out more
Composition, flute, nay, vocal
Tenor saxophone & soprano, percussions
Composition, flute, nay, vocal
Flute, voice, nay, composition
Naïssam Jalal : flute, vocals, composition
Debasmita Bhattacharya : sarod
Leonardo Montana : piano
Flo Comment : tampura
Anuja Borude : pakhavaj
Francesco Ciniglio : drums
« Franco-Syrian flute and ney player Naïssam Jalal is as eclectic as she is talented. Equally at ease flowing with Palestinian rapper Osloob as part of sextet Al Akhareen as surrounding her music with silence on her new album Quest of the Invisible. »
« A brilliant composer and virtuoso instrumentalist, Naïssam Jalal also considers improvisation as a spiritual experience in itself. »
« Naissam überzeugt nicht nur mit spieltechnischer Souveränität, … sondern auch als Klangorganisatorin von enormer Imaginationskraft. » 5 von 5 möglichen Sternen
« Naïssam Jajal ist ein Solitär, nicht nur innerhalb des Jazzzirkels. »
« Alle Folk/Weltmusik/Jazz-Fans sollten aufhorchen, denn hier wird etwas Spannendes geboten. » 20 von 20 möglichen Punkten
« Faszinierendes musikalisches Material! »
« Naïssam Jalal evokes a current resistance. It is played in the patio of our global and hyper-connected houses. Songs of tolerance, her music – committed, beautiful, courageous, improvised – sounds like a bulwark against the religious fanaticism and security withdrawal that tear apart our daily lives. »
« Naïssam creats a music in her own image: mixed and combative. It matches compositions of great melodic richness, undulating grooves, precious harmonies referring to the music of the Middle East and a some modal lyricism wich reminds us in turn the nomadic music of Don Cherry and the obsessive mystical jazz of John Coltrane. »
« Solidna, niekiedy wręcz porywająca muzyka, która prawdziwie nie zna granic i którą stanowczo należy poznać. Rozczarowania nie będzie. »
« Naïssam Jalal’s latest album, which should have a great impact, contains many treasures of musical creativity. »
AC Le Journal du Dimanche
« Naïssam Jalal exhales grace and inspires respect »
« S’il est en France une artiste habitée par la conscience de l’immense, de l’irreprésentable désastre syrien, c’est Naïssam Jalal. En colère, meurtrie, abasourdie, horrifiée ou concentrée sur le souvenir d’une culture aujourd’hui dévastée, sa musique apparaît comme une projection directe de son âme, une peinture à vif des sentiments qui l’animent. Mais le désespoir même cède toujours devant les engouements et l’appétit de la flûtiste. »
« La langue de Naïssam Jalal est unique, polyglotte, avec son vocabulaire savant tiré de la mémoire orientale, capable de sauter des gammes japonaises aux rythmes gnawas ou éthiopiens, de s’affranchir de la routine pour bâtir ses propres codes autour du jazz tout en distillant, par ci par là, un souffle de Debussy, des fragments de Satie. Les ruptures rythmiques, parfois stratosphériques, ne contrarient jamais la fluidité du tempo, soutenu par des musiciens du tonnerre Une musique à la portée de toutes les âmes vivantes, de toutes les oreilles à l’écoute du monde. »
« Flûtiste frondeuse et aventurière, Naissam Jalal n’a pas son pareil pour multiplier les grands écarts sonores: un jour avec le rappeur palestinien Osloob, un soir avec le grand batteur de jazz Hamid Drake, un autre matin avec le joueur de oud égyptien Hazem Shaheen. »
« Femme de lutte(s) et flûtiste de combat, Naïssam Jalal traverse le monde comme le monde la traverse, intensément »
France: Jazz in Marciac – Jazz a la Villette – Sons d'hivers Festival – La ferme du buisson – Pan! Festival – Institut du Monde Arabe – Mucem – Arsenal – Palais de la Porte Dorée – Festival Paris quartier d’été – Equinoxe SN – Les 2 scènes – Jazzdor – Jazz au fil de l’Oise – Jazz aux carrés – Jazz sous les Pommiers – Tourcoing Jazz Festival – Festival du bleu en hiver – Le Grand T SN – Festival No Border – Africolor – le Tangram – Théâtre Senart SN – Le Parvis SN – La Dynamo – Aux heures d’été – Charlie Jazz Festival – Jazz a Porquerolles – Métisse Festival – Voiron Jazz Festival – Les Détours de Babel – A Vaulx jazz – New Morning – Festival Radio France Occitanie – Musée du quai Branly – Opéra de Rennes – Opéra de Lyon – Martinique Jazz Festival – SN Tandem – Jazz à Junas – Jazz à Vienne – Festival de Malgénac – Abbaye de Royaumont – Estran, Guidel – Festival Banlieues Bleues – Maison de la Musique de Nanterre – Points Communs, SN de Cergy – Festival Jazz des 5 continents – l'Astrada
Europe: Jazzaldia Festival (Spain) – Jazzdor (Germany) – Musikfest (Germany) – Moods (Swiss) – le Bee-flat (Switzerland) – Inntöne Festival (Austria) – Jazzit Music Club (Austria) – jazz & the city (Austria) – Jazzkaar Festival (Estonia) – WOMEX 2021 (Porto) – Sovoy Theatre (Finland) – Jazzahead! 2019 & 2022 (Germany) – Helsinki Jazz (Finland) – Cziget Festival (Hungary) – Gaume Festival (Belgium) – Festival Jazz on the Beach (Finland) – Moldejazz (Norway) – Kulturkraftwerk, Thalgau (Austria) – Unterfahrt (Germany) – Festival Like a Jazz Machine (Luxembourg) – NDR (Germany) – Festsaal-kreuzberg (Germany)
World: Winter Jazz New York (USA) – Jazz à Chellah (Moroco)
Artists are based in France and available on request for concerts, workshops and pedagogical encounters.
Main agent/booking/ Management : Ourida YAKER (Tour'n'sol prod.) et Aymeric Hantin
Support booking : Chloé HOUSSEAU - freSch touch
Booking Italy : Sabino Martiradonna - Marsab Music