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Biography

Born in 1969, Ghazi Abdel Baki started playing the drums at the age of ten in war-torn Beirut. By the age of twelve, he started rigging the balconies of his childhood home with microphones and recording live sounds of gun battles and shelling on a rudimentary 4-track cassette recorder. He spent his time mixing them with his early guitar compositions and created a personal soundtrack of his early years in Lebanon. At 15, he started performing with his band “Amnesia” in Beirut’s thriving underground music scene, performing numerous concerts and getting acquainted with veterans of the local scene, including Munir Khauli, Sami Shabshab, Walid Etayem, Abboud Saadi, and Ziad Rahbani.

In 1988, Ghazi moved to New York and pursued his studies in Industrial Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy. He continued in parallel to play music and still experimented with recording at the University’s studios. Ghazi played with psychedelic rock band “ Nobody’s Fault”, and performed in several venues in Albany and Troy, New York.

In 1992, Ghazi moved to New York City to pursue a Masters Degree in Media Studies at The New School For Social Research. In parallel, he established his first recording studio on Orchard Street and started recording his first album “Crucial”, with fellow musician Ramzi Moufarrej and with the participation of John Benitez on Bass, Bobby Franscescini on Saxes and Bassam Saba on Nay.

In 1995, Ghazi returned to Lebanon and started teaching Media Studies at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, and continued performing live. He played the drums with Ziad Rahbani for more than two years during Ziad’s comeback in 1996-1998, with the Munir Khauli Group and with fusion band “Virus”. In 1999, he went on to record the live album “Beirut Salsa” with fellow musicians Abboud Saadi, Hani Siblini, Fouad Afra and Hratch Kassis.

In 2001, Ghazi Abdel Baki created “Forward Productions” an audio recording studio that eventually became the world music label “Forward Music”. He went on to produce the works of several renowned artists, including: Charbel Rouhana, Ghada Shbeir, Ziyad Sahhab, Soumaya Baalbaki, Issa Ghandour and Mustafa Said, as well as producing his own music. Ghazi also wrote music for films: Manhattan Magazine (1994), 100% asphalt (2001), Under The shade of the Tree (2002), In the Name of Jihad (2003), The War Within (2004), Maid In Lebanon (2005), Ramleh Sunset (2005), Invisible Children (2005), Ammek (2006).
He recorded his first solo album in 2004 “ Communiqué #1”.

In 2007, Ghazi released his second solo album “ Communiqué #2” and started performing live as a solo artist. During this time he produced Ghada Shbeir’s debut album, “Al Muwashahat”, that went on to win the BBC World Music Awards following the landmark performance at the Barbican Hall in London in 2007. By the end of 2009, Ghazi released his third solo album “The Final Communiqué” and continued performing live with fellow musicians: Fouad Afra, Khaled Yassine, Tarek Yamani, Raed Khazen, Jean Madani, Tom Hornig, and Amadis Dunkel.

By 2010, Ghazi Abdel Baki had already produced and published more than 30 albums and began managing the careers of many of Forward Music’s recording artists. The Label started then producing Music Festivals in Beirut, and participated in live concerts in Damascus, Cairo, Dubai, Paris, Montreal, Marseille and London, among others. In 2011, Forward Music was recognized by the industry and by the press as the leading independent Music Label for World Music in the Middle East and started distributing the music of non-label artists, including Toufic Farroukh, Oumeima El Khalil, Tania Saleh, Ziad Ahmadieh, Soap Kills, Hazem Chaheen, Nida' Abou Mrad, Kinan Adhmi, Rayess Bek, Lethal Skillz and Lena Chamamyan. .

Also in 2011, Ghazi Abdel Baki created the Beirut live concert venue “ The Democratic Republic of Music DRM”, owned and managed by Forward Music. During its three years of operations, the venue hosted around 350 concerts with performing artists, such as: Stanley Jordan, Joey De Francesco, Toni Allen, The musicians of the Nile, Henry Texier, Souad Massi, Ilham Madfai, Toufic Farroukh, Nemr Abou Nassar, and more…

In 2015, Ghazi Abdel Baki released the CD/DVD album: “Ghazi Abdel Baki LIVE”.

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