In 2014, Swinging Europe and Jazz Danmark gathered ten talented intercultural musicians who live in Denmark, to represent the band Grænseløs (Borderless). The band learned to play together and about the music market as well as went on a tour around Denmark. – The band has been giving concerts all over Denmark from May till September 2014.

Oud player Bilal Irshed was mentor for Grænseløs and has been following as well as playing with the band throughout the whole project.
In order to wind up the project, Grænseløs took the studio ‘The Village’ in Copenhagen and recorded 8 of their remarkable tunes on the 29th and 30th of August 2015. The album will be released in 2016.

Swinging Europe and Jazz Danmark have selected three members of Grænseløs to be a part of a mentoring agreement. The reason why the choice has fallen on these three is to be found in the assessed potential, which they have shown throughout the entire course with Grænseløs.

The members are:

Jamile Alfer’s mentor Rikke Frisk introduced her to Søren Møller who is helping her record three demo songs and she is also planning a tour.
Maher Mahmoud’s mentor is Kat Jarby. He has had his press photo taken and has made a personal website ( along with playing gigs in Denmark and abroad.
Chaher Ali Murtada‘s mentor is Bo Stief who he has received lesson from.

The band members are:


IMG_6239Bilal Irshed – Palestine
Instrument: Oud

Bilal is the mentor of the project Grænseløs. He functions as a bandleader as well as composes/arranges some of the music the band plays. He was born and raised in the village of Daboyya in the northern Galilee in Palestine. At the age of 13, later moved to Jerusalem to study at music the Academy for Music and Dance. In 2006 he moved to Zanzibar where he worked as music teacher and artistic director at the Dhow Countries Music Academy.Here he became interested in writing and arranging music, in addition to being a performer and a teacher. Bilal lives in Copenhagen where he is involved in different music projects. In addition to his two own bands, Bilal’s Trio and The Fifth String, he is also a member of the Middle East Peace Orchestra.

Doğan Şahin  – Turkey Instrument: Kemane and Bağlama
Doğan was born in Turkey in 1965. He lives in Copenhagen and inspired by turkish bağlama virtuoso Arif Sağ  and Turkish Folk Music. He was born and raised in Istanbul and holds a BA in Mechanical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University. He came to Denmark in 1992. He joined evening classes in music and joined bağlama courses in Turkish Music organizations in Germany. Later he took private courses in kemane in Istanbul.

1Chaher Ali Murtada – Syria
Instrument:  Bass

Chaher was born in Damascus, Syria in 1971. He began studying music at a very early age playing both guitar and piano. Later he fell in love with bass guitar and dedicated all his time to practice and train this instrument. He worked professionally in many big studios and TVs. In addition to his adoration to the Jazz music, he is highly influenced by well known musicians such as Alain Caron, Anthony Jackson, Victor Wooten, Michael Manring & Richard Bona, and that added a special beautiful impressionistic style to his playing. In 2001 he moved to Copenhagen, Denmark. His private and specialized study played a focal and significant role as he specialized in several fields, one of which was the music of fusion, Jazz, funk and rock.

mette-marieMette Marie Jensen Ørnstrup – Denmark
Instrument: Percussion, Davul, Darbuka and Vocal

Mette Marie was born in Denmark in 1984. She lives in Aarhus and has been living in Istanbul 1 1/2 years, where she studied Classical Ottoman Song and Makam Theory. Earlier she has also been to Ghana and she still plays with Ghanaian group African Footprint.“For me the intercultural musik meetings are about inspiration and communication. What can we together? Can we play together in a way that all parts feel they get something positive out of the meeting? I have been exploring this question for some years now.

Maher Mahmoud – Syria
Instrument: Oud 

Maher was born in Syria 1986 and currently lives in Randers. He’s a composer and Oud player graduated from The Higher Institute of Music in Damascus 2010 where he studied the Oud instrument and both classical western and eastern music. He has played many solo concerts and many others with different bands playing Arabic, classic and jazz music in different countries around the Middle East and Europe. He released his 1st album “Mirage” in Damascus 2010. Besides from playing oud he also composes pieces for the band.

 IMG_6261Jamile Jamal Alfer – Lebanon
Instrument: Vocal

Jamile was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1987. She lives in Asaa, in Northern Jutland, Denmark. “I’ve always been a musician. When I was a child, my father used to sing ancient Arabic songs to me, while I tried my best to follow along on a keyboard with my untrained fingers. In my teenage years, I discovered my singing voice, and I’ve been experiencing a great and exciting adventure in the world of music ever since.” In the midst of this, Jamile has earned an undergrad as a midwife, before eventually deciding to pursue a proper education in music at The Royal Danish Academy of Music. Her inspiration is the world around her, the struggles of daily life, and the people around her. Two of her most favourite musicians are Billie Holiday and Feyrouz. 

 IMG_6231Emil Palme – Denmark
Instrument: Mandolin, Guitar and Saz

Emil plays Middle East folk music, free improvised music, jazz music and other kind of world music (Scandinavian, African, reggae and so on). Now he is studying guitar at The Danish Rhythmical Music Academy, where he also play the Turkish baglama (saz), oud and mandolin. “For me music is a way to express those feelings that are impossible to express in words. Especially through improvisation, I feel that I can reach the highest level of expression. –Like there are no obstacles between my soul and the communication.”
Emil Palme is active in many different bands and projects based in Copenhagen where he both plays in and compose fore; Boujeloud, Cirklen, Prophet Adam, Grænseløs, OED.

Saer-El-JaichiSaer El-Jaichi – Palestine
Instrument: Darbuka, Arabic Percussion
Saer is a danish-palestinaen and was born in Raas al Khayma (UAE) 1980. He lives in Tåstrup, outside Copenhagen but his upbringing was in Odense – Hans Christian Andersens city. He is a recording artist and an earlier member of Middle East Peace Orchestra and Klezmer Zahav. “I find musical inspiration in the modern middleeastern darbuka tradition, primarily Tony Anka, Ahmet Mısırlı and Mohammad Zaki.”
Apart from the music a good deal of Saer’s time is dedicated to finishing his PHD in Arabic Middleage Philosophy.

Adam Woer – Denmark
Instrument: Transverse flute

Adam was born and raised in Holstebro in western Denmark. He has been playing transverse flute since he was 11. When he was he won the gold medal in a classical music competition arranged by the danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende There were over 100 competitors. Adam went to OrkesterEfterskolen in Holstebro and was also an intern at Aalborg Symphony Orchestra. He practices 3 hours a day.

IMG_6205Ayman Khattar – Palestine
Instrument: Oud and Arabic Violin


The following video is from the first workshop, which was where the band members were found.

A half hour documentary divided into four parts has been produced and can be seen below.