© Ashkan Noroozkhani

Christine Zayed

  • Music
  • Meeting

Born into a music-loving Palestinian family and raised between Jerusalem and Ramallah, Christine Zayed was introduced from an early age to classical and contemporary Arab music, and to traditional Palestinian music.

She began by learning the oud and singing and, at age 9, she joined the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Ramallah to learn the violin and classical music theory and its history. The discovery of the qanoun and its vast possibilities was a turning point for her: she decided to deepen her knowledge of Arabic music and other traditional repertoires in which this instrument has always played a major role, in addition to taking music lessons - Maqam, Arabic rhythms, the history of Arabic music, and singing. She already performs with various groups from the conservatory.

She joined the Amman for all orchestra and participated in the Simon Shaheen Arabic Music Retreat when she was 16, before touring abroad as a singer and qanoun player. At the age of 21, she moved to France, where she trained in musicology (musical and sound creation), pursued new jazz training at the conservatory, and was introduced to Greek, Turkish, Arab-Andalusian, Algerian, and Tunisian repertoires at the Edgar Varèse de Gennevilliers conservatory, where she teaches today. There, she collaborates with French and foreign artists, and undertakes original projects, such as with the Iranian singer Aida Nosrat, the Lebanese violinist Layale Chaker and the French musician Eléonore Fourniau, whose repertoire consists of Turkish and Kurdish pieces.

At the end of 2018, Christine Zayed began to perform as a soloist, playing the classical Arabic repertoire as well as her own pieces for voice and qanoun, in various places, such as the Institut du monde arabe, La Péniche Anako, and Le Petit Bain in Paris, as well as abroad. This is the culmination of an exceptional artistic journey, which combines different musical, but also philosophical and political influences.