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Club d’Elf has been helping audiences lose track of time for twenty five years with its mesmerizing synthesis of Moroccan traditional music and electronic, dubbed-out funk. Circling about bassist/composer Mike Rivard and drummer Dean Johnston, each Club d’Elf performance features a different line-up, drawn from a constellation of some of the most creative improvisers from the jazz, DJ, rock & world music scenes of Boston, NYC and beyond. The band’s music draws from a startlingly wide spectrum of styles, including jazz, hip hop, electronica, avant garde, prog-rock and dub. Under the tutelage of member Brahim Fribgane (who hails from Casablanca) the band has absorbed Moroccan trance music, which is now an essential part of the mix. Diverse audiences are drawn to Fribgane’s mesmerizing oud stylings, and Rivard’s commanding playing of the Moroccan sintir. Trance forms the central core of the Club d’Elf aesthetic, weaving together the band’s various influences.
In April 2022 the band released its latest album, ‘You Never Know’, which rose to #2 on the Relix chart. The record unfurls upon kaleidoscopic clouds of spiced smoke, shifting from chopped dub-jazz through trance epics that reimagine Boston as a city of bazaars. Club
d’Elf pay tribute to the music and musicians who have been primary influences, with half the album being covers of gnawa, Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul, Moroccan band Nass el-Ghiwane, and Frank Zappa. The other half consists of original music inspired by Rivard’s personal journey into darkness following a near death experience in the remote jungle of the Peruvian Amazon.
“You Never Know is a wide ranging romp, full of serenity, chaos, longing, improvisation and peerless musicianship inspired by music from India and Morocco as well as the maverick jazz of Miles Davis and Frank Zappa.” – Banning Eyre, Afropop Worldwide