Adnan, Simar and Wissam Joubran form Le Trio Joubran. The three Palestinian brothers were brought up in the city of Nazareth but now reside mainly in France. Each of them plays the oud, an instrument that reaches back through their family across four generations. Their father, Hatem is one of the most highly regarded luthiers in the Middle East and their mother, Ibtisam Hanna Joubran, was also a renowned singer of Muwashshah (a traditional song sung in classical Arabic) ensuring their musical acumen.
Forming in 2004, Le Trio Joubran have built an impressive reputation and are arguably one of the greatest exponents of the oud, especially to an international audience. They have so far recorded 5 albums, the latest, AsFâr was released in 2011 and since them Le Trio have been touring internationally. They have also received awards for work on several film scores. These include The Last Flight (2009) with Marion Cotillard and Iranian epic Muhammad: The Messenger of God (2015) where they worked with Oscar-winning Indian composer AR Rahman.
An ode to the oud
The oud is a lute-type stringed instrument with 11 or 13 strings and is one of the most widely played instruments in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Records of early incarnations of the oud date it back as far as 2,000 BCE with similar instruments featuring regularly in ancient Egyptian art. It retains a fundamental place in Arabic classical music and can be heard more and more in pop and fusion music as well.
A decade ago the idea of three ouds being played together on stage was far from the norm and yet the trio’s natural brotherly bond has made it seem natural. That fluidity is a key part of their approach, particularly when on stage, where up to half of their performance can be improvised. Despite their success outside of their homeland, they remain grounded men, aware of their roots and the political troubles that continue to affect Palestine. Three ouds, three souls and three brothers that make the Joubran family and their commitment to their craft so beautifully unique.
Le Trio Joubran will be featured on the upcoming Caravanserai show with Adel Bakhshi.