Cheb i Sabbah was a DJ and composer/producer known for combining Asian, Arabic, and African sounds into his compositions. Sabbah was of Jewish and Berber descent. He was born in Algeria into a family of musicians and moved to Paris as a teenager, where in 1964 he began his career DJing American soul music records. In 1984, settled as a DJ in San Francisco. In 1989 he began using the stage name « Cheb i Sabbah », which translates to « young of the morning ».
He has seven recordings on the Six Degrees Records label.
Sabbah incorporated aspects of the « outernational » style with a defense of traditional music, noting: « the most important focus for me is to keep the musical tradition alive. For example, folk, trance and healing musicians are struggling to make a living and teach the young generations. Once those musicians go, it’s over, then what? »
Sabbah’s performances included live musicians, dancers and massive projected visuals, backing up his electronic music. He was nominated for the BBC’s 2006 Award for World Music in the Club Global category.
Sabbah was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer in May 2011. He died on November 6, 2013 in San Francisco, and joined the big jam session in the sky.