Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 28 November 2020

Five acts to check out at Amman Jazz Festival: From female collectives to Armenian folk

The event will this year stream all performances on its YouTube page

Jordanian Female Artist Collective, featuring singer Rula Bassil, will perform as part of Amman Jazz Festival. Instagram
Jordanian Female Artist Collective, featuring singer Rula Bassil, will perform as part of Amman Jazz Festival. Instagram

Amman Jazz Festival is the latest regional music event to go online. Returning for its ninth year next month, the home-grown gathering has become a premiere showcase of Jordan's vibrant music scene.

Running from Thursday, November 5, to Tuesday, November 10, the festival’s YouTube page will stream performances from 15 bands shot in various sites across the city. The shows will begin from 8pm UAE time each night.

While it might not be quite the same as experiencing a set in person, the online format provides international audiences an opportunity to experience leading acts from Jordan’s strong independent music community.

The festival will be split into two programmes: the main performances and a digital side stage, which will be home to the Musiqa 3al Daraj concert series. Co-organised by the Goethe-Institut Jordanien, the event is made up of pioneering acts from the kingdom.

"What we are aspiring for is to rethink the new now, the new tomorrow and come up with alternative solutions in these challenging times,” festival founder Lama Hazboun said.

“Our mission is to move the industry forward by supporting the local independent music scene, through providing the opportunities needed for musicians to flourish."

Here are five acts to look out for:

1. The Jordanian Female Artist Collective


A post shared by @ jfacollective on Mar 9, 2020 at 1:56am PDT

A formidable outfit, The Jordanian Female Artist Collective is a 12-piece band that blends virtuosity with verbiage. Viewing their gigs more as conversations than performances, their show will use jazz as jump-off point for exploring everything from poetry to the traditional music of the Levant.

2. Hrag Mouradian

The sextet presents a reimagining of Armenian folk through the fusion of jazz and funk arrangements. The star of the show, however, will undoubtedly be the stirring notes of the duduk, an ancient Armenian double reed woodwind instrument made of apricot wood. Hearing its soaring notes over funk beats will be a joy to behold.

3. Jurf Gentlemen

✨الرابط في البيو✨ Jurf Gentlemen’s debut mashup project, themed “Halim-Sinatra”, brings a modern cross-cultural twist, inspired by oldies giants Abdulhaleem Hafiz and Frank Sinatra among others. Expect to hear blends of classical piano, oriental oud, saxophone, trumpet, bass-guitar, and drums, together with soulful western and sensational eastern vocals - wrapped into one special project, delivered by gentlemen who are set to reawaken the sheen of some golden oldies! Fun-fact: brothers Yazan Jurf and Omar Jurf grew up in one artistic home 10 years apart; Yazan (arranger, composer & Arabic lead singer) is inspired by Abdulhaleem Hafiz, and Omar (English lead-singer), a huge fan of Frank Sinatra - leading to the birth of the “Halim-Sinatra” project. Yazan Jurf: Keyboard & Arabic Lead Singer Omar Jurf: English Lead Singer Moutasem Azar: Drums Naji Ibrahim: Oud Ma’en Hijazeen: Bass Guitar Andy Fuentes: Saxophone & Trumpet تقدم لكم جرف جنتلمن في أول ظهور لمشروعهم الموسيقي الجديد كلاسيكية البيانو وأصالة العود، مع قوة الساكسوفون وعمق البوق وصخب الايقاعات، يرافقهم صوت غربي يداعب الروح وصوت شرقي يشعل الاحاسيس ليقدموا لكم ذلك النوع من الموسيقى الذي يجعلكم تريدون الخروج بالسيارة في ليلة جميلة، وسماع الموسيقى بصوت عالٍ، مع هواء عليل، تجد نفسك تحدق بأضواء الشارع وتعيد ذكرياتك القديمة. حليم سيناترا، المشروع الأول لجرف جينتيلمن، أتى من الهام المغنيين في الفرقة، يزن، الموزع والمؤلف والمغني الشرقي نشأ على حب عبدالحليم حافظ، بينما عمر، المغني الغربي عاشق لفرانك سيناترا. نشأتهم في بيت واحد وبرغم فارق العمر ب١٠ سنوات؛ عمر ويزن يتشاركان بنفس الشغف للموسيقى. يحتوي المشروع الموسيقي على ٨ أغاني ممزوجة بين عبدالحليم حافظ، فرانك سيناترا وغيرهم من فنانين الزمن الجميل بطريقة عابرة للحضارات والثقافات مع لمسة عصرية حديثة. يزن جرف: بيانو/مغني بالعربية عمر جرف: مغني بالانجليزية معتصم عازر: درمز ناجي إبراهيم: عود معن حجازين: باص جيتار آندي فوينتيس: ساكسافون وترمبيت. #ammanjazzfestival #jazzfestival #AmmanJazz #jazz #jazzconcert #jazzmusic #مهرجان_عمان_جاز #عمان_جاز #musiqa3aldaraj

A post shared by Amman Jazz Festival (@ammanjazzfestival) on Oct 17, 2020 at 11:57am PDT

Led by brothers Yazan and Omar Jurf, the group will unveil a new project called Halim-Sinatra. The band's music aims to channel the cross-cultural beauty of both artists – Abdel Halim Hafez and Frank Sinatra – through songs that fuse classical Arabic pop and jazz music.

4. Khaled Tawfiq Ensemble

This performance promises a meeting of mind and body. In his show Almas (translated to mean soul), guitarist and composer Khaled Tawfiq will lead his band in a string of songs harnessing the rhythms of flamenco music with the spirituality of classic Levant folk.

5. Octave

Performing as part of the Musiqa 3al Dara programme, the veteran band celebrates their heritage by injecting visceral rock energy into decades-old traditional songs taken from Jordan's Sahel Horan region.


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Updated: October 22, 2020 08:12 PM

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