Abdelli was born in Mechta Behalil, a hamlet in the Great Kabylie, Algeria, during the Algerian War of Independence. His family was displaced by the bombing of their village, Kennour, part of the Tizi Ouzou Province, by the French airforce. As a boy, Abdelli constructed his first guitar out of an empty oil can, a plank of wood and fishing line. After learning to play the guitar, Abdelli was introduced to the mandol by Chaabi master, Chaïd Moh-Esguir.
Abdelli is a Berber of the Kabyle people, indigenous North Africans who inhabited the region since pre-Arab times. His main instrument is the mandola, a cross between a guitar and a lute and a member of the mandolin family. Abdelli is committed to bringing the music of his homeland to as many people as he can: “The music existed long before the arrival of Islam and the Arabs,” he said. “It’s closer to the Mediterranean Sea, like the music of Corsica or Greece, rather than to Arabic music.”
Abdelli began performing throughout Europe in the mid-’80s, which led him to concert performances at WOMAD and performing on bills with the likes of Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar.
ATTENTION, for this concert you will be asked to present a covid safe ticket in addition to the concert ticket.