Dear Friends and Fans of Cheb i Sabbah:
Recently, our dear friend and musical pioneer Cheb i Sabbah was diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer at San Francisco General Hospital. He was advised that the cancer was spreading to his liver and left lung. Without immediate and proper treatment, the prognosis given is very grim. The phrase “weeks maybe months” was repeated to a devastated group of close friends and family who were there to support him as he received the heartbreaking news.
Like many Americans, “Chebiji” — as he is affectionately known — does not have health insurance. Private health insurance is astronomically expensive and public state funded health insurance barely provides the most basic treatment — and it does so only if you qualify. Due to his weak health condition, Chebiji found himself having to cancel live shows, meaning his income stream has come to a complete halt, with mounting medical bills and future medical costs ahead.
Upon learning of his condition, a few close friends and artists have come together to rally around Chebiji and assist him with his fight. Devastated by the news and outraged that an artist of Chebiji’s caliber cannot afford to care for himself and receive the proper urgent medical treatment needed, we have set up a fund to help.
Please help by donating and spreading the word to your communities. With our financial support, love and healing thoughts let’s help Chebiji receive proper medical care and beat this cancer.
Chebiji’s debut album for Six Degrees Records, Shri Durga, is considered one of the true classics of South Asian Fusion. Although he was born in Algeria, Sabbah’s unique affinity for the music of India and Pakistan has resulted in some of the most distinctively beautiful marriages of tradition and “DJ Science” ever recorded. Following Shri Durga, Sabbah’s recordings featuring collaborations with Indian master musicians include Krishna Lila & his latest studio recording Devotion as well as the Maha Maya remix project. On La Kahena (and it’s subsequent remix project La Ghriba), Chebiji returned to the music of his North African homeland with equally mesmerizing results.
Cheb i Sabbah has led a fascinating life, with stints as one of the very first DJ’s to spin records in the early Parisian Discothèques more than forty five years ago. As an actor he worked for two decades with the famed Living Theatre and as a director and cutup sound manipulator, he created the group Tribal Warning Theatre, performing with Psychic TV in his adopted home of San Francisco in the early eighties. He has managed the great Global Jazz icon Don Cherry who insisted that Sabbah continue his DJ mission and quoted him as “a professor of music”; Sabbah eventually ended up on stage with Don mixing layers, sound-scapes and beats way before software and laptops. As a promoter, under the banner of 1002 Nights, he was the first person to book concerts with artists like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Khaled, Hakim, Transglobal Underground and a host of electro and world musicians from Asia, Arabia and Africa.
Sabbah’s influence on the global electronic music and DJ scene cannot be over estimated. He has shown two entire generations that classical world traditions can blend beautifully and respectfully with DJ Culture. It is our hope that the many people from around the planet who have been touched by his music, might be able to give back however they can in his time of need.
The fans and friends of Cheb i Sabbah have experienced his music and artistic vision through his many albums. For those of us who can recount those ecstatic moments on his dance floors — whether in Goa, Essaouira, Moscow or at Nickie’s, where he ran an eighteen year San Francisco weekly residence, we know what a beautiful gift Sabbah has been to the world at large. This is our opportunity to give something back to Cheb i Sabbah in his time of need.
Please donate generously and spread the word about this wonderful artist and human being. Remember that this could happen to any of us. Donate not only to Chebiji but donate as a way of expressing your support for the millions of uninsured Americans who quietly suffer the undignified humiliation of not being able to fend for themselves simply because their economic and social status.
Thank You and Blessings to All.