Born in the city of Teboulba, Dhafer Youssef began his musical career in the Koranic school, absorbing the musical influences around him. He was a Muezzin before he saved the money to buy his first oud. With 19, he decided to move Vienna.
There he met the Austrian percussion player Gerhard Reiter who introduced him to Toni Burger and other members of the Vienna Jazz Scene.
The Jazz Club Porgy and Bess gave Dhafer a "carte blanche". For a whole year, he could do whatever he wanted once a month. On these occasions he invited Europes experimental-Jazz community, e.g. Iva Bittova, Linda Sherock, Tom Cora, Wolfgang Puschnig. He recorded his first CD Malak (enja) during this residency, featuring Nguyên Lé, Markus Stockhausen and Renaud Garcia-Fons among others, which established him as an internationally acclaimed artist.
Having lived in various European capitals and in Dakar, Senegal, Dhafer moved to New York in 2001 where he recorded his second CD Electric Sufi (enja) featuring Dieter Ilg, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Doug Wimbish, Will Calhoun and Mino Cinelu.
Returning to Paris the same year, Dhafer began to explore the Norwegian Nu-Jazz scene around Nils-Paetter Molvaer and Eivind Aarset. The release of his third album Digital Prophecy (enja) in 2003 reveals Dhafers profound spiritual singing and playing embedded in the existentialistic world of Norwegian music - with Eivind Aarset (guitar), Rune Arnesen (drums), Bugge Wesseltoft (keyboards), Dieter Ilg (bass), sampling by Jan Bang and the bansouri virtuoso Ronu Majumdar.