The legacy begins pre-biblical from 1600 BC in an area today called The Middle-East. Passed on from one generation to the next, Naji Hilal was born in Qarnayel Lebanon from a musically gifted family. At the early age of 6, Naji’s father made absolutely positively sure that Naji carries this bequest.
Naji was exposed to the fine arts of Lebanese traditional and classical music mastering the oud while playing with Lebanese local bands. With globalization and the ease of traveled in our days, Naji moved to North Carolina where he was exposed to various
types of music through local and international community of musicians and singers.
He met a group of fellow students at NCSU and they formed an international folk music group known as Kolaj which consisted of nine musicians from 7 different countries. Naji produced for Kolaj a CD named First Journey and consisted of music from 12 nations. He also produced an oud improvising CD called Taqaseem Min Alsamaseem (Improvisation from the heart). This CD conveys the true sound of the
oud without any effects and all pieces are improvised at the moment of recording.
The musically versatile Naji, also plays the viola, nay, guitar, accordion, Kanoun, andvarious percussive instruments. Naji is also a singer and composer having produced an
album, named Intizar which is a contemporary Middle Eastern music and played on traditional and few modern instruments. Marco Buongiorno Nardelli on Flute and Sax
and Bekir Ulkar on percussion and Joel Ocamopo accompanied Naji on Intizar album adding a mix of various international styles. Naji's music made its way to couple of
documentaries and dancing instruction video.
At this time Naji performs singing and oud playing for international events and he also performs guest lecturing in the subject of Middle Eastern Music and scales at local
universities and Oriental Dancing workshops. After a great experience that Naji had, playing oud with Jaafar who are a World Jazz group led by Troy Cole which is
bridging the Middle East and the Western music in a Jazzy and funky platform he is now playing with ELM Collective which is a fusion of jazz and world timbres and
rhythms, with Arabic and Mediterranean overtones.
Naji is currently working on a Sufi Music CD with Saz and percussion player from Turkey, Soner Cicek.