Roberto Haliffi was born in Tripoli (North
Africa) from a Sephardim family. At an early age
he started playing darbuka, an arabic drum and
trap set in folk bands. His uncle Bicio
introduced him in jazz bands. Together they
played for the American military base and in
night clubs. He also had his pop band with his
In 1967 he was forced to leave Tripoli. He went
to Milano (Italy) where he met pianist Sonny
Taylor who inspired him to play Latin Jazz Funk
music. Another positive experience for Roberto
was playing with the African conga player George
Aghedo and the famous clarinetist Tony Scott.
In 1973 Roberto came to Holland and played jazz
with Burton Greene, Curtis Clarke, Wilbur Little,
Nedley Elstak, Woody Shaw, Pia Beck etc. Funk
with John Marshall, Rosa King, Hans Dulfer, and
worked for singers like Denise Jannah, Angela
Groothuizen , Soesja Citroen.
Internationally he played in Switserland with
Gene Conners and Delta Rythm Boys. In England
with John Marshall, in France with Rosa King and
Ingram Washington, in Spain with Pia Beck, in New
York with Klezmokum band, Essiet Okun Esiet, John
Tchikay and Perry Robinson.
He recorded over more than twenty CDs and
albums and is working on two new ones.