10 Palestinian Musicians To Learn About

Updated: Aug 17

Kamilya Jubran (born 1962)

Jubran grew up in the north of Israel and was born into a musical family. Her father Elias Jubran is a well respected musician and oud maker who started to study music after hearing his neighbour play in 1954. Jubran herself is an oud and qanun player, and joined the group Sabreen as a lead singer in 1982. In 2013, she featured on a song called Multi_Viral with the Puerto Rican hip hop band called Calle 13 and Julian Assange (yes that Julian Assange). She has recorded four albums with Sabreen, and five more solo albums, collaborating with musicians such as Werner Hasler and Sarah Murcia. She is currently the artistic director of a nonprofit called Zamkana which encourages 'innovative artistic projects, respecting freedom of expression and secularism' (KamilyaJubran.com).

KamilyaJubran.com Kamilya Jubran on Spotify

Mohsen Subhi (1963-2009)

Subhi was a performer, composer and arranger of Palestinian music. After emigrating to the USA, he studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, performing on the oud which was his main instrument. He was also a great percussionist, and incorporated rhythms from different cultures into his music.

He was well known for his film scores including The Inner Tour (2001), The Imaginary Village (2004) and Salt of this Sea (2008). Unfortunately, he died in an accident in 2009 soon after being granted the funds to record his second album.

Reem Kelani (born 1963)

Kelani was born in Machester, England and had a strong musical upbringing, listening to a lot of jazz music her father played in the home. After visiting Nazareth for a family wedding, her passion was ignited for Palestinian music. She graduated from Kuwait University with a degree in biology in 1986, and performed whilst in Kuwait, fusing jazz with traditional Palestinian music. Her first album was called Sprinting Gazelle - Palestinian Songs from the Motherland and Diaspora (2006) and she has since performed across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and North America. She has worked with many musicians from around the world, and often appears on BBC Radio as a presenter, including writing a program on different UK migrant communities called Distant Chords (2001-2003).


Reem Kelani on Spotify