I have star friends
It’s always interesting to follow the path to stardom of a childhood friend. To be fair, I don’t have that many such friends, but Rami and Bachar Khalifé are the exception to the rule: both brothers have emerged as international music stars in recent years, to my utter delight (without any drop of jealousy whatsoever, of course).
For those who didn’t know (you’re excused), Rami and Bachar are the sons of Lebanese musician Marcel Khalifé, an outspoken musical icon who has come to be a major voice for the plights of the Middle-East in general and Palestine in particular. Not quite surprisingly, both his sons showed early musical gifts. I should know: we had the same piano teacher as kids. The comparison ends there, though: they both went on to study in the best musical schools in the world (Juilliard for Rami, the Paris conservatory for Bachar) and started producing impressive bodies of work in their own right while I was still deciding on whether or not I should have my own business. In other words, they did good — quick.
Bachar Mar-Khalifé, being the youngest, boomed a couple of years after his brother. But then, through a series of deeply personal and highly creative albums, plus years of touring, he too emerged as an international musical star. And he’s younger than me (again, obviously not jealous).
Last Saturday, Bachar was performing at Paris’ Gaité Lyrique, a wonderful stage in the center of town with great acoustics, which is also where he happened to perform his first solo show 7 years prior. Needless to say he’s grown since then: his concert, which lasted next to 2 hours, was a packed, intense experience, with a beautiful mix of new and older tracks masterfully rendered by an all-star band that even included his cousin on cello. Why look further when you have such a talented family, I ask of you?
Halfway through the show, a technician got on stage to setup a mic next to Bachar’s piano. As we all wondered who the special guest could be, the best surprise we could have hoped for happened: father Marcel Khalifé walked up on stage to perform a beautiful duet with his son — and nephew, a perfect nod to the new Khalifé generation’s incredible talent. To think that there was a (brief) moment I played piano better…
Can’t wait to see what Bachar Mar-Khalifé will be up to in 7 years!
Want to know more? Here you go!