Abdelli is a Berber of the Kabyle people, indigenous North Africans who inhabited the region since pre-Arab times. His main instrument is the mandola, a cross between a guitar and a lute and a member of the mandolin family. Abdelli is committed to bringing the music of his homeland to as many people as he can: "The music existed long before the arrival of Islam and the Arabs," he said."It's closer to the Mediterrannean Sea, like the music of Corsica or Greece, rather than to Arabic music."
Abdelli began performing throughout Europe in the mid-'80s, which led him to concert performances at WOMAD and performing on bills with the likes of Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar.
Abdelli has recorded two acclaimed albums on Real World Records, 1995's New Moon and 2003's Among Brothers.