The oud, a Middle-Eastern lute, is a monodic instrument found throughout the Arab-Turkish-Persian region and throughout southern Spain. In it's traditional songs it assumes the role of the voice.
Raised by musician parents in Granada, Andalusia, Mel M'rabet was introduced to the oud at an early age, exploring the styles of Fusion, Flamenco, and Middle-Eastern music. At eighteen Mel began performing professionally across Spain. By 1989 as an established musician, he toured the Andalusian province, southern France and Germany.
Upon migration to Canada, M'rabet appeared and recorded with notable musicians such as Dario Domingues, Jean Martin, Victor Nesrallah, Rob Frayne, John Geggie, Oscar Lopez, Cesaria Evora and Francois Tesberge.
In the fall of 1995, and after two successful summer tours of Spain, M'rabet was awarded a New Talent Demo Award by FACTOR. Canada Council for the Arts awarded him three grants from 1996 to 1998. One grant helped him record fusion music. Another grant enriched his repertoire by sending him to a studio in Paris where he researched Andalusian music.
While in Paris, M'rabet performed solo and with artists including Salif Keita, Anouar Brahem, Rabih Abu Khalil, Steve Lacey, Steve Potts, and Cheb Mami. He has also participated in various festivals: Montreal Jazz Festival, BC Folk Festival, SunFest (London), Ottawa Folk Festival, Beirut Jazz Festival, Harbourfront Centre World Music Festival and the Washington DC Jazz Festival.
M'rabet's music draws not only on the rich heritage of Andalusian Music, but also on that of the Turks, the Kurds, the Armenians, and the Gypsies. All these sources have influenced his playing style and compositions. He is currently focused on developing new repertoire based on the musical roots and sources with which he grew up. In addition, he is working on a new playing technique aiding newcomers to the oud. While it is common for Western musicians to take an ornamental approach to their application of world music, M'rabet stresses that his heritage acts as the foundation for every one of his compositions.
M'rabet's compositions for the soundtrack to the film, "Khaled" were nominated for a Genie Award in 2002. He continues to collaborate with upcoming film and documentary projects around the world. He is also working on a new recording featuring a fusion of electro-acoustic instruments, and Hip-Hop in Spanish.