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Maneli Jamal

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Maneli Jamal
Born (1985-02-07) February 7, 1985 (age 36)
OriginToronto, Canada
Occupation(s)Guitarist, composer
InstrumentsAcoustic guitar

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Maneli Jamal (born February 7, 1985, in Minsk, Belarus) is an Iranian-Canadian acoustic guitarist and composer based in Toronto, Canada.[1][2][3][4] In 2017, he was nominated for the 13th Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Early life[edit]

Maneli Jamal was born in Minsk, Belarus, as the youngest of 4 brothers.[5][6] His father was a Persian violinist.

Jamal has lived in 5 different countries and moved more than 20 times as a teenager.[7][8][9] He lived in Cologne, Germany, for 9 years before immigrating to the U.S. In 1994, Jamal's family moved to the U.S and stayed there for 9 and a half years as pending immigrants. Finally, his family found a non-profit organization that helped them move to Toronto, Canada after they were forced to leave the U.S in 2002 when their U.S. citizenship applications were declined twice.[10][11][12] At the age of 24, Jamal was granted Canadian citizenship.[13]


Jamal began playing the violin at the age of 9, but then switched to guitar when he was 15.[14] In 2011, Jamal participated in The Guitar Idol III in London, where he won third place.[15] In 2012, Jamal signed with CandyRat Records to release his album The Lamaj Movement.[16]


Jamal began touring outside of his hometown, Toronto, Canada in 2012 with Van Larkins and Trevor Gordon Hall.[17] In March 2013, Jamal and Van Larkins started their tour of New Zealand and Australia, where they performed a total of 35 shows.[18][19]

In April 2015, Jamal performed with Pedro Eustache, L. Shankar and Luna Lee on Réunion island.[20] Later in the same year, he toured the US and Canada with Andrew York, Diego Figueiredo, and Brian Gore, and performed in 24 shows as part of the International Guitar Night Tour.[21]

Style and technique[edit]

Jamal's music is a blend of jazz, blues, world, classical, flamenco, folk, fingerstyle and Persian music that he describes as progressive acoustic guitar. Jamal names Pat Metheny, J. S. Bach, Paco de Lucia, Iron Maiden, and Michael Hedges as some of his early influences.[22][23][24] Jamal uses percussive elements on the body of an acoustic guitar to make the guitar sound like multiple instruments.[25] The rhythms used are mostly in 6/8 rhythms used in traditional Persian music that he was taught by his father. Jamal prefers to write composed-through pieces like ‘Awakening' and ‘Vasat and Ziur', where there is little repetition.

Jamal played a Taylor 814ce Limited Edition 2006 model guitar, but now performs live using his own Cole Clark Signature Model guitar.[26]

Selected discography[edit]

  • Demo 2006 (2006)
  • The Ziur Movement (2009)
  • The Lamaj Movement (2012)
  • The Mardom Movement (2016)
  • Ambient Sketchbook (2018)
  • Tranquil Strings (2020)
  • Synchrodestiny (ft. Shai Sebbag) (2017)
  • Kora (2017)
  • Daft Funk (ft. Naghmeh Farahmand) (2017)
  • Enchanted (2017)
  • Miles Away (2018)
  • Transformation (2018)
  • Dire, Dire Docks (2018)
  • Synchrodestiny (2018)
  • Break of Dawn (2018)
  • Tiko's Blues (2018)
  • Slowspun (2018)
  • Amazing Grace (2018)
  • Miles Away (Nylon Guitar) (2018)
  • Reunion (Ft. Pouya Hamidi) (2018)
  • Reunion (Solo Guitar) (2018)
  • Desolate Sky (ft. Kyle McEvoy) (2018)
  • Gift (ft. Pouya Hamidi) (2018)
  • Due North (2019)
  • Vasat (Piano Version) (2019)
  • El Cielo en Zihua (Solo Version) (2019)
  • Dreaming in Color (ft. Lance Allen) (2019)
  • Zim Blues (Solo Version) (2019)
  • Turkish Dance Delight (ft. Shai Sebbag) (2019)
  • Voyage by Night (ft. Shai Sebbag) (2019)
  • Henry's Appreciation (ft. Pouya Hamidi) (2019)
  • Synchro Destiny (2019)
  • Slow Spun (2019)
  • Toward Dusk (2019)


Jamal has won several awards for his work, including:

  • 1st place – 2009 Faith Acoustic Guitars Competition (worldwide).[27]
  • 1st place – 2010 Taylor Acoustic Guitars Showdown (worldwide).[28]
  • 3rd place – 2011 Guitar Idol III held in London, UK (worldwide).[29]
  • 1st place – 2012 Winterfolk Festival Auditions (Canada)
  • 1st place – 2012 “Awakening” Best Recording AES Convention by Pouya Hamidi (worldwide).[30]
  • 1st place – 2013 Beaches International Jazz Festival, Hennessy Contest (Canada).[31]
  • 1st place – 2013 Best Guitarist Award for Indie Week Festival (Canada).[32]
  • 2nd place – 2014 Lee Ritenour's Six String Theory Competition – Acoustic Guitar Category.[33]
  • 1st place – 2014 Harbourfront Centre's Soundclash Music Awards (Canada).[34]
  • 2017 13th Canadian Folk Music Awards (nominated for Solo Instrumental Artist of the Year for World Solo Artist of the Year).[35]


  1. "Andrew York: News-Blog". www.andrewyork.net. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  2. "Hey! Listen To Maneli Jamal!". Heavy Blog Is Heavy. 2016-09-23. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  3. "The world is his home". Deccan Herald. 2016-02-29. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  4. "Maneli Jamal – New Songs, Playlists & Latest News – BBC Music". BBC. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  5. KG, VRM GmbH & Co. "Maneli Jamal mit sanften Gitarrenklängen im Bechtolsheimer Kulturgut – Allgemeine Zeitung". www.allgemeine-zeitung.de (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  6. "Madame Guitar 2016 – I concerti serali dell'undicesima edizione". Fingerpicking.net (in italiano). 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  7. james, merin maria (2016-02-22). "Guitarist hungry for musical collaborations". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  8. "Kiran Mazumdar to launch book on 31 women scientists". Deccan Herald. 2019-11-02. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  9. "The world is his home". Deccan Herald. 2016-02-29. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  10. "Maneli Jamal's journey guides him to near-idol status -". هفته نامه خبری سلام تورنتو - Salam Toronto Weekly Newspaper. 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  11. Gazetesi, Aydınlık. "Mültecilikten müzisyenliğe Maneli Jamal". Aydınlık (in Türkçe). Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  12. "Countdown to Tirgan Festival: This is NOT just a Guitar". شهروند (in فارسی). 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  13. admin (2014-09-29). "Il world fingerstyle di Maneli Jamal". Fingerpicking.net (in italiano). Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  14. "Minor 7th interviews Maneli Jamal". www.minor7th.com. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  15. Productions, Southside. "Calum Graham & Maneli Jamal Two of North America's Best Finger-Style Guitarists! (Multiple Awards)". southsideproductions.ca. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  16. Work & Worry (2011-02-02). "Interview : Maneli Jamal". WORK & WORRY. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  17. Ritchie, Matthew. "Owen Van Larkins gives you the finger". The Coast Halifax. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  18. "Candyrat Guitar Night – Le Cafe, Picton". UnderTheRadarNZ. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  19. Thompson, Bronwyn (2013-03-21). "Gig Guide, March 22-28". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  20. OK. "Virtuoses de la Nuit !". Clicanoo.re (in français). Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  21. "Vote for Maneli Jamal on G7th.com". www.g7th.com. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  22. admin (2014-09-29). "Il world fingerstyle di Maneli Jamal". Fingerpicking.net (in italiano). Retrieved 2019-12-25.
  23. "'Guitar Idol' Maneli Jamal plays New London". The Day. Retrieved 2019-12-25. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  24. "Countdown to Tirgan Festival: This is NOT just a Guitar". shahrvand.com. Retrieved 2019-12-25. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  25. "Chord Percussion with Maneli Jamal". acousticguitar.com. Retrieved 2019-12-25. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  26. "How to Perform Acoustic Slap Guitar by Maneli Jamal". acousticguitar.com. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  27. "Maneli Jamal : east through to west acoustic guitar". magnatune.com. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  28. "Maneli Jamal | Tirgan". tirgan.ca. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  29. "Award Winning Guitarist Maneli Jamal Performance – Bring Your Guitar". Meetup. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  30. "Maneli Jamal biography". Last.fm. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  31. "International Guitar Night 2015 | Lincoln Theatre". lincolntheatre.org. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  32. "Vote for Maneli Jamal on G7th.com". www.g7th.com. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  33. "Lee Ritenour". Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  34. "Maneli Jamal Wins 2014 SoundClash Music Award". exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  35. "Results 2017 | Canadian Folk Music Awards". Retrieved 2019-12-06.

External links[edit]