Emil Zrihan, the Moroccan Nightingale, was acclaimed as the surprise of Womex 97. A performer who captivates audiences with his exceptional contra-tenor voice and stage presence. The voice of Emil Zrihan, who stamped a note of deep satisfaction on everything that happened at the Womex Festival, with his holy songs from North Africa and tonal Arabic-Andalusian music.
Respectfully known as “the voice of the mocking bird” and “the Moroccan nightingale,” Emil Zrihan has brought the musical traditions of Morocco to Israel. Accompanied by oud, violin, kanoun, and darbouka, Zrihan has ued his multi-octave countertenor vocals to inject new life into a rich mixture of Moroccan and Judeo-Andalusian folk music, Sephardic and North African songs, improvisational mawals, …and tunes from the Mediterranean and the Orient. According to RootsWorld, Zrihan “exhibits a startling vocal range in an eloquent, rhythmically sinuous repertoire.” Born in the Moroccan capital city of Rabat, Zrihan moved with his family to Israel at the age of nine. Singing professionally since the age of 13, he currently serves as cantor at the main synagogue in Ashketon. Zrihan continues to sing Moroccan, Syrian, and Egyptian tunes in Arabic dialects. Although his ensemble has toured with as many as 35 musicians, he often performs with a scaled-down four-piece band. Zrihan toured North America for the first time in 1999, performing in New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles.