Meet Dubai's home-grown jazz star

How many jazz musicians are there in Dubai? ‘About four or five,’ shrugs Lebanese double bassist Elie Afif. ‘That’s not me being…’ he waves his hands helplessly. Arrogant? ‘It’s just the reality. I try to bring people Read more

Nominated for Best Local Act

A stalwart of Dubai’s jazz scene for years, double bass virtuoso Afif has been rewarded with the release of the UAE’s first jazz album

UAE musician releases new CD at Blue Bar
The National

If you’ve been in Dubai any longer than five minutes, odds are you’ll have heard Elie Afif playing somewhere around town, whether you knew it or not. The locally based read... Read more

Jazz: en route vers le paradis avec Elie Afif

Ne en 1985 Read more

Originally from Beirut, Lebanon, Elie Afif performed at several notable international festivals.

Elie was first introduced to music at the age of 9. Soon after, music became his main interest and he began studying from records. He began imitating bass lines from those records, such as Jaco Pastorius’ debut album and albums Jaco featured on with Weather Report and Joni Mitchell. Elie quickly began showing talent, and by the time he was 17, he had built a name for himself in Lebanon. During the same year, Mike Stern invited him to perform alongside him on a visit to Beirut, which further inspired Elie to pursue music as his profession.

Elie then began playing regularly with Arthur Satyan, started taking lessons in upright bass as well as in classical contrabass, and also started taking a great interest in the jazz theory approach of Barry Harris who would become his idol. Over the years, Elie would go on to study with Barry Harris several times, in both Italy and New York.

In 2007, upon receiving a scholarship, Elie attended Prins Claus Conservatorium in Holland for a short period.

He then attended the The Collective School of Music in New York in 2012 after receiving another scholarship. It was here that Elie was quickly exposed to the New York scene, as well as having the opportunity to meet many great players that he would also learn a tremendous amount from such as Matt Garrison, Tarek Yamani and Ian Foreman.

Elie is currently based in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, performing in various formations, mainly as Afif Jazz, as well as working in the sound production field.

Elie has performed with many great players such as, Rene Mclean, mike Stern, Jerome Sabbagh, Chris Mcnaulty, Bobby McFerrin, Ranjit Barrot, Tim Garland, Ayden Esen, A.R Rahman, Zakir Hussein, Bobby Durham and Dwight Dickerson to name a few.