Cheb i Sabbah, 1947-2013


Algerian-born, Bay-based DJ and musicmaker Cheb i Sabbah was an international star with an incredible past. But he will always be known here as a beautiful soul and teacher who incited a true spiritual devotion in his fans. And, as the godfather of the global house movement, he was one of the most creative DJs to coalesce strains of Indian ragga, reggae riddim, African percussion, and more into a wonderfully danceable mix.

A mix, it turns out, that influenced a generation of musicians and dancers and introduced many to the metaphysical joys of a sonic melting pot. His longrunning 1002 Nights weekly Tuesday parties at Nickie's in the Lower Haight and his work with Six Degrees Records enriched SF nightlife and music throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

After he had fought cancer for a long time -- there were several fundraisers for him over the past few years, which helped keep his music flowing -- his family announced his passing this afternoon via his Facebook page. The statement, and some of our favorite tunes, after the jump. We'll miss him greatly.

Dear friends, family, fans and fellow beat followers, it is with a heavy heart that we, Cheb i Sabbah’s family announce his peaceful passing yesterday morning in his home in San Francisco.

He was surrounded by his life partner of over 18 years and is memorialized by his two children and three grand children.

We ask that we be allowed the time to grieve and mourn our loss and will be announcing any memorial services in the near future….. When dusk falls this evening, and the stars begin to swirl, our father is spinning for all the great ones who passed before him and were awaiting his arrival,


Check out one of Cheb i's last sets, from August, here.


What a beautiful soul Serge was! I feel privileged to have lived next to him and in the whirl of his music. I ran into him a few days ago at Rainbow and his smile was radiant and open.
He will be missed, I will miss him and I trust he is in a peaceful place of endless, blissful spinnings...
Sam Wooten
Merci and my feelings for his family.

Posted by sam wooten on Nov. 08, 2013 @ 7:23 am

Thanks for the memories, Marke, and thank you, Cheb i Sabbah, for the music.

He was core to that loose affiliation of Six Degrees Records artists who were so much a part of 1990s San Francisco.

Posted by Marc Weidenbaum on Nov. 08, 2013 @ 10:20 am

Thanks for the memories and the inspiration, Cheb I, and for coloring 90s San Francisco in a magical way

Posted by Guest Manos Tzanakakis on Nov. 08, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

I knew Serge from Nicky's BBQ where he DJ'ed in that little room and played great world music...this was early 80's..he was a kind man, gentle and creative...he evolved into the father of sampling and mixing that now everyone does...may his crossing over be peaceful.

Posted by The days at Nicki's on Haight will always be remembered... on Nov. 08, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

Thanks for the memories, Marke, and thank you, Cheb i Sabbah, for the music.

Posted by elektronik sigara on Dec. 25, 2013 @ 10:55 am

Thanks for the memories, Marke, and thank you, Cheb i Sabbah, for the music.

Posted by elektronik sigara on Dec. 25, 2013 @ 10:56 am

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