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The Chehade Brothers
Until the late 1990s, Farid and Rami Chehade had performed in numerous concerts in a number of Arab countries and in some international festivals representing Middle Eastern music around the world. Yet, the two brothers were dreaming of a career well beyond the patriotic and revolutionary scene or the circuit of cultural festivals where they merely performed folkloric Palestinian songs; they wanted to make their mark on "popular music" in its broadest sense, taking into consideration all the implications that this may carry. Therefore, they headed to Beirut, Lebanon, where they joined the newly established Oriental Roots Orchestra, an oriental-fashion "big band" formed by Michel Elefteriades with the goal of grouping most outstanding musicians from the Arab world. This collaboration has enriched their compositions with various ethnic influences, making their musical style evolve towards World music fusion, while keeping clearly Middle Eastern roots; a style promoted as belonging to "Nowheristani" music.
Their collaboration with Michel Elefteriades has also yielded the Chehade Brothers' first album. Composed by the two brothers and arranged by Elefteriades, the album captures the time-honored Tarab mood. They were helped by poet Elia Azar who contributed to the album a set of poetic lyrics that only the talent of the brothers, coupled with Elefteriades' mastery of World Music fusion, could turn into such subtle music, best known in the eastern notion as "inaccessible simplicity". This first album, titled “A Bridge Over the Mediterranean”, was released by Warner Music in 2004.
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