Crowds Flock to First Jazz Festival in Saudi Arabia

Published February 25th, 2018 - 10:19 GMT
Bands UK performed alongside local bands at the Groovz jazz festival (AFP/File Photo)
Bands UK performed alongside local bands at the Groovz jazz festival (AFP/File Photo)

Organizers of Saudi Arabia’s first jazz festival were thrilled to see an estimated 3,000-plus visitors, including huge numbers of families, turn up on Friday.

Bands from the U.S., the UK and Lebanon performed alongside local bands at the Groovz jazz festival at the Golf Club at the Intercontinental Hotel.

It was organized by Time Entertainment in cooperation with the General Entertainment Authority as a mega three-day entertainment with food and other arts events to celebrate jazz culture. In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Raif Bukhari, manager of Mizan, explained the event was a great opportunity for the band from Al-Khobar.

He said: “We are glad to get this golden opportunity to perform with international bands. “With the people excited about the maiden jazz event, it is really a great feeling to be associated with it. We want to thank GEA, Time Entertainment for having this beautiful event. It’s great to be part of the local music scene here with international bands. I am really happy to be part of the big change in Saudi Arabia with some good, tasteful music.”

Asked what difference the event would make, he said: “I am very positive about it. Our aspiration as a band is to grow in a sustainable way, share our music with the world and to be able to reach a large audience, indeed to perform outside the Kingdom some time soon.


“We have entered the Riyadh market. Last week we came to the German Embassy and played at the open stage with music. That was our first performance in Riyadh, and a week after we are here at the first ever Groovz Jazz festival, so I am very hopeful we can expand our base.”

Ibrahim Mohammad, another member of Mizan, told Arab News: “We started as a band in October and had no idea we would be so popular in five months. Performing here is a big chance to grow up with the presence of international bands.”

Fahd Abdulrahman, a medical intern attending the event, said it was amazing to witness the jazz festival in Riyadh. “This is happening for the first time and we are dazzled with the jazz music which rocks the whole audience.”



This article has been adapted from its original source.


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