Arts, Culture & Media

Remembering Cheb I Sabbah, a DJ who brought heavy beats to traditional styles

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Credit: Courtesy of Six Degrees Records

DJ Cheb I Sabbah

DJ Cheb I Sabbah died on November 6 in San Francisco after battling stomach cancer for more than two years. He was 66 years old.

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He brought much joy to people when he was alive and his legacy can be felt on the dance floors from Mumbai to Mexico City.

Born into a Jewish-Berber family in Algeria with the name Haim Serge El Baz, he spun American soul 45s in Paris as a teenager.

In the '80s, he moved to San Francisco and took on the stage name Cheb I Sabbah or "young man of the morning."

His dance tracks brought heavy beats to traditional styles from around the world and also blurred political lines. He was a Jewish DJ, armed only with globally minded souls, often at Arabic functions, but no one seemed to care.

 

Listen to some of Cheb I Sabbah's mixes here.

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