"The man known as U-Nam, is destined to become one of the most
controversial musicians.In the few recordings that I have heard, there is a
conviction towards making himself felt by the general public, and the
critics alike. It's great to have a new voice on the guitar scene; one that
is loaded with energy and excitement."
Born and raised in Paris / France, U-Nam began playing the guitar at age
12, and studied for three years at the Paris-based CIM - the first European
school for jazz - between 1986 and 1989. At age 19 he turned professional,
becoming a fixture at Paris studio sessions.
Well known throughout Europe and the US as a musical trendsetter and
innovative player in Instrumental Music, Soul, and R&B, Emmanuel "U-Nam"
Abiteboul has more than earned his reputation as a virtuosic guitarist and
producer. Since his move to the US from Paris, France in 2007, Guitarist
U-Nam has had the opportunity to perform, record and produce several of the
top artists in the Smooth Jazz, R&B, and Soul genres. He has traveled
throughout the US at events and Festivals including the Catalina JazzTrax
Festival, Jazz on the Green, the JazzTrax Big Bear Festival, the Dave Koz
and Friends Cruise et al. His performances extend outside of the US, he
performed as one of the headline acts at the Dubai Jazz Festival in February
Originally a renowned producer, U-Nam has worked with a number of
International Artists including Barry White, Kool & the Gang, Honeyz, Louis
Fonsi, and MC-Solaar, earning him several Gold and Multi-Platinum records.
In 2007, he established himself as a prominent solo artist with the release
his sophomore album, "Back from the 80s" which included the #1 hit "Street
Life". "Street Life" stayed in the Top Three on the US Billboard Charts for
three months and the Top Ten charts for an entire year.
U-Nam Number 1 Smooth Jazz/Soul Jazz Guitarist. A Tribute To George
Benson. Ibanez GuitarsIn 2008, U-Nam signed with the prestigious guitar
manufacturer, Ibanez. In their 2009 product catalog, he was honored with a
double page feature alongside legendary guitarists George Benson, Pat
Metheny, and John Scofield. He has since been featured in the 2010, 2011 and
U-Nam has five album releases as a solo artist. "The Past Builds the
Future" (2005) was #2 on SolarRadio UK (the largest soul radio station in
the UK). The album had significant radio airplay in Europe and made it into
the Top 47 on the US charts. "Back from the 80s" (2007) was the number one
album of the year on Jazz FM, Steve uirk's Fusion Flavours, as well as a #1
on the US Billboard Charts. "Unanimity" (2009) has reached the Top 30 on the
US Billboard charts with his hit single "Shine On".
In recent years, he also released "The Early Tapes" and "The Best of."
His latest album "Weekend In L.A" ( A Tribute To George Benson ) will be
released on August 29th 2012. U-Nam also hosted a successful jazz series
entitled the "One-Soul Jazz Series" at the Cellar in Long Beach, California.
The series has included popular Smooth Jazz Musicians such as Gregg Karukas,
Michael Paulo, Tom Braxton, Kim Waters, Gail Jhonson, and Greg Adams. He was
also considered for the 2009 Grammy's in three categories including Best
Improvised Solo and Best Pop Instrumental Song. In recent months, following
the newly signed record deals with Village Again Japan and SkyTown Records
USA, U-Nam has taken on the ambitious project of creating a George Benson
Tribute, acknowledged as no small task by those familiar with the Legend's
music. But according to GB himself, U-Nam is surely qualified for this
This album includes a MEGA ALL-STAR line up of artists and musicians
including many of the talented performers that appeared on George Benson's
historic albums. Some of the artists on the album include but are not
limited to: George Duke, Marcus Miller, Stokley Williams (Mint Condition),
Phil Perry, Patrice Rushen, Paul Jackson Jr, Ronnie Foster, Andreas Oberg,
Tim "TiO" Owens, Wah Wah Watson, Michael White, Dio Saucedo, and many more.
Within less than two weeks following its release, the album has already
reached #1 on iTunes Japan for Jazz, #1 on Amazon US for Neo-Soul, and #1 on
Amazon US for Smooth Jazz. It also has 10 entries in 6 categories for Grammy
consideration. It has additionally received rave reviews from critics around
As said by George Benson: “This monumental project includes some of my superstar friends who
are among the world’s best known artists of our time. It is an honor to be the subject of this new
guitar and musical star. This project sounds FANTASTIC…”
in 2012,U-Nam also joined the Jazz/Fusion All-Star band “Grafitti” with a line-up that includes
Dennis Chambers (Drums), Gary Grainger (Bass) and Haakon Graf (Keyboards). During their
successful “Reunion” tour in California, highlighted by the Guitar Center Drum Off at the Club
Nokia in Los Angeles, they released a live album called “Live in California”. Grafitti also had a
recently successful tour in the famous Igor Butman Jazz Club in Moscow, Russia. The show sold
out every night. In light of this success, Grafitti is preparing for a tour in Europe and Russia.
This past year, U-Nam has been busy producing and writing with R&B Artist/Songwriter James Day.
Their collaborations include “RSVP” featuring Donnie and “Divine” featuring Trina Broussard. He
has also been working with Universal France to remix songs for Destan, the French Finalist for
the celebrated Eurovision contest.
As an artist, he released 2 singles, “C’est Le Funk” which was selected as the Song of the Year on
KHIT-HD3 ST LOUIS, and “Something’s Up” which reached Top 29 on the US Billboard Jazz Charts
and Top 15 on the SmoothJazz.com Charts. In 2014, U-Nam has also been touring with Shannon
Kennedy. Their performances brought them to SoCal (Humphrey’s San Diego, Spaghetinni Seal
Beach, Jazz in the Gardens Palm Springs) as well as Malaysia for the World Youth Fast Festival. On
September 8th, U-Nam released his latest album “C’est Le Funk” which went straight to the top of
the charts on its first day, reaching #1 on the Amazon US “Best Sellers” List for Funk Albums, #2 for
Smooth Jazz Albums and #19 in Overall Jazz.
Latest single “Throwback Kid” has reached #1 Smooth Jazz Best-Sellers Song on Amazon US and
also #7 on the Radio Wave Monitor Top 100 Jazz Chart and #16 on the USAToday/ Mediabase Chart.
U-Nam’s latest project is called Groove Ltd. (with saxophonist Shannon Kennedy). The duo recently
released (September 2015) their debut album, “First Class”, which made its debut at #1 on the Smooth
Jazz Best Selling Albums on Amazon US (also #4 Soul and #6 Overall Jazz) its first day of release and
still is for more than 6 weeks in a row!
The album which features many special guests such as Maysa Leak, Jonathan Fritzen, Paulinho DaCosta,
has already received rave reviews from radios and critics worldwide. (September 2015), the album which
features many special guests such as Maysa Leak, Jonathan Fritzen, Paulinho DaCosta, has already
received rave reviews from radios and critics worldwide.
His recent performances have brought him to Dubai, Russia, Malaysia, Europe, the Caribbean Islands,
and the US. He was featured at the 22nd annual Balcones Heights Jazz Festival in San Antonio in July 2015
and will perform on the upcoming Capital Jazz Super Cruise this fall."
~ Website Biography
George Benson Tribute (EPK/Documentary), U-Nam & Friends - Weekend In
L.A - Full HD
"U-Nam | Weekend in L.A. : A Tribute to George Benson"
"Today marks the official US release date of French guitarist U-Nam's George
Benson Tribute Project, "Weekend in L.A." The album has already made it to
#1 on iTunes in Japan for Jazz, Top 13 on Amazon in the US and has been a
Top 5 for radio stations throughout Europe and the world.
"Weekend in L.A" provides fans with a fresh perspective on many of Benson's
most popular songs with playing and performances comparable to the great
artist himself. The songs are reinterpreted in a way that not only remains
true to George Benson, but leaves listeners with something new. One
definitely has reason to listen to and enjoy the album on it's own and
without comparison. "
~ Shannon Kennedy - TeenJazz.com - Post on 29 Aug 2012
"U-NAM: C'est Le Funk"
"Originally from Paris guitarist U-NAM delivers one gem after another. With
The Past Builds The Future (2005), Back From the 80's (2007), Unanimity (2009) and
Weekend in L.A. (A Tribute To George Benson) (2012) he set milestones of smooth
jazz. His new album C'est Le Funk will be released on September 8th, 2014 in
digital version, the physical follows on 15th.
Multi-instrumentalist U-NAM is
joined on this project by Dwayne "Smitty" Smith and Darryl Williams (bass),
Tim "TiO" Owens, Gennine Francis-Jackson (vocals) and Shannon Kennedy (vocals,
saxophone and flutes), Michael White (drums), Denis Benarrosh (percussion),
Bill Steinway (Fender Rhodes, Piano), Kim Hansen (Fender Rhodes and keyboards),
Christian Martinez (trumpet), Raymond Gimenes and Maria Grigoryeva (strings).
~ Read on smooth-jazz.de
"U-NAM: The Past Builds The Future"
"I can sum many albums up in one word. Mostly that word is not
printable, but this is one CD that I can happily sum up in one word. SUPERB.
I had heard a few tracks from this set on the great Richard Searling's
show, Soul Sauce, and could not wait to get my grubby little hands on this.
Now I have the CD in the same grubby paws I can honestly report that it far
exceeds even my high hopes. With guest stars aplenty and a fresh, groovy
approach this CD really is a no nonsense, no risk disc. I love the sheer
party funk, the groovy, driving jazz mixed up with a healthy dose of soul,
poetry and rap. So, as you can see, this is one healthy, strong and eclectic
mix that should definitely be included in my listing of albums of 2005. "
~ Read on SoulExpress.com
INTERVIEW: Teen Jazz with Guitarist U-Nam
U-NAM - Unanimity
February 23, 2010 - "French Smooth Jazz guitar sensation Emmanuel
Abitebol, more known as U-NAM, came to fame with his widely acclaimed
somophore album 'Back from the 80's' released in 2007. One year later, he
made a guest appearance on guitarist Vernon Neilly's project G-Fire (Guitars
on Fire) and its third album 'A Tribute to Stevie Wonder', where
accomplished guitar players from various genres teamed up to showcase their
talents (U-NAM performed on Wonder's track 'I Was Made to Love You'). In
2009, the French musician has again used the same Soul/Funk revival recipe
and provides with his latest effort 'Unanimity.'
So when you taste the fourteen groovy and melodic tracks served by the
Paris-born musician, you may think at first you're listening to George
Benson and his famous guitar licks. But it is definitely not the case,
because even if the French guitarist acknowledges Benson as one of his main
sources of inspiration, he does reinvent the genre with his injection of
revamped Funk and Soul. This is the U-NAM's French touch which again
delivers a top class Smooth Jazz guitar act with a line up of very high
Let us meet with an artist who makes unanimity through his music."
~ Akbar Nour - SmoothJazzNow.com
"U-NAM: - Back to the 80's"
April 2008 - "U-NAM - Congratulations for your new CD "Back from the 80's."
After entering Number 24 the first week, number 10 the 2nd and now #8 in the
charts of [Solar Radio]. And Nr. 2 in the U.K. modern soul charts. An
intrumental cruise thru own material and covers from 80s stuff like "I can't
help it" from Stevie Wonder, "Love will find a way" written by Lionel Richie
and Greg Phillinganes and many others.
The 80s - why the 80s and what does this century mean for you? My feelings
are mixed remembering Michael Jacksons "Thriller" on one hand and my hair
style on the other ;-):"
~ Frank Schuckelt's Interview with U-NAM -
U-Nam - Throwback Kid
U-Nam @ Catalina Jazz Trax Festival
U-Nam & Dave Koz "Street Life" Jam on the AllStar Show - Dave Koz Cruise
& Friends (2008)