Lebanese roots deep in Canada (By: Chama Tasse)

Charbell Letèf in the news:
charbell Letef photo

“Over a decade and half a year cvago,a young man, moved by the flowing notes of the Adagio of Concierto de Aranjuez, set out to play the guitar. A Canadian, of Lebanese origin, he began his journey with the instrument at the youthful age of 17. After diligent hours of practice, this CD resulted, and with it we explore different plateaus of the magical souds of flamenco and classical guitar. The young man’s name is Charbell B. Letef.

He was born in Hasroun, a small village located in the northern part of Lebanon. Nestled at the fott of the famous Cedar mountains and situated atop a steep luscious canyon at an altitude of 1450 meters, this region of Lebanon had inspired many artists, musicians and poets. Evidently, it also inspired the passionate and intense style of the playing of this recording artist.

When asked about his feelings towards music and performing, he replied:

“ since I was a little boy, whenever I listened to music, I became aware of the state of my feelings. Perhaps this is because I have learned to associate the music with a person, place or event. Over the years however, I appreciated music even more; music reminded me of pleasurable, nostalgic and hidden feelings, and occasionally guided me to explore new ones. In playing the guitar, I discovered a timeless means to navigate toward a composers thoughts and feelings, and to stir and uplift the mind and soul.

His journey (or travesia in Spanish) with the guitar began eighteen years ago when he came upon an old classical guitar in his hometown, and made his first attempt at playing it. Two years later, he traveled to Denver, Co., then to Memphis, Tn. To attend university and took his new found companion with him. In December of 1983, he moved to Canada, a place he had long desired to live in, and began his serious musical training. He studied periodically with accomplished musicians David Philips in Toronto and later with Josef Otto and Steven Boswell in Vancouver. Though these instructors, he learned about “ guitar musicianship” and his passion for playing the guitar was moulded.


As we “ traverse With the guitar,” we take a pleasant journey with the expressive sound produced in this recording and listen to some of the best-loved and well-known guitar tunes. The selection presents the unique dimension of the Spanish guitar as defined by this recording artist:


“ Sounds projected from the guitar like the tintinnabulation in La Ccatedral, the captivating serenity of the Studies and Spanish Romance, the musical variety of the Milonga and Romanza, the suspenseful Leyenda and the dynamic Malaguena, the reminiscent sounds of the Capriccio Espanol and the Recuerdos, the folkloric dances of the Farrucas and Herenicia, the brilliance of the Arabian Fantasy and devotional music of Bach and Schubert, place the classical guitar as the centriod for charm, elegance, romance and vivacity.”



P.Eng. Charbell B.Letèf
-Former vice president of LCS and chief editor of the HERE, THERE & YONDER. The newsletter of the lebanese canadian society of B.C.
-Co-Founder of the WLCU-BC Council in 1995.


Charbell Letèf is a Canadian professional engineer and seasoned project director and consultant with over 25 years of experience in engineering, procurement and construction management of mining, oil/gas and diverse industrial projects in Canada, US, Chile and in the Middle East.


He has held several managerial posts related to functional, operational and hands on project management, capital cost of projects and proposals managed ranged from $10 to $600 million. Currently, Charbell is the Project Director at Projex, a midsize EP firm in Calgary Alberta, and is responsible for providing overall directions within the company for project management setting overall goals and establishing priorities in this area to support business objectives.


He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Christian Brothers University in Tennessee, USA and has had a variety of training in financial management, economics, leadership and human resources. He is a member of The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) was a former member with Canadian Professional Engineering Associations in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.


In service to community, Charbell is an active member with The Knights of Columbus at ‘St Antonio’s The Great’ Council in Calgary and is the cofounder of WLCU in BC.  He has also founded and presided over several non-profit and community oriented organizations in Alberta including The Aramaic Association of Calgary, The Oak Tree Community Society of Calgary, and The Good Help Community Society of Edmonton

Charbell was born and raised in Hasroun, a red roofed small village nestled at the foothills of the famous biblical Cedar of Lebanon northern mountains which tower over 3000m above sea level. Hasroun is situated atop a steep luscious canyon and overlooks the famous Holy Valley of the Saints (in Aramaic Qadisha) at an altitude of 1500 meters. Like other beautiful regions of Lebanon, this area will always inspire many artists, musicians and poets as it did with the famous Khalil Gibran and will keep on engraving the eternal beauty of Lebanon in the hearts of many of its citizens and their future generations.

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