"MahraJazz": a performance by the artist Amir Al Saffar and Two Rivers Ensemble in AMQF
Ramallah- (AM Qattan Foundation):
On Thursday, 17 October 2019, A.M. Qattan Foundation premiered the Iraqi American artist Amir Al Saffar and Two Rivers Ensemble at its headquarters in Al Tireh, Ramallah, as part of the second day of MahraJazz 2019, the independent jazz festival in Palestine.
This is the festival’s third edition, which was launched in Haifa on Wednesday 16/10/2019, with the same show at Fattoush Gallery and Bar.
In this edition, MahraJazz defies the barriers and distances between Haifa, Ramallah and inhabited and displaced Palestinian villages (Iqrith and Ableen). Its activities are held in cooperation with AM Qattan Foundation where participating bands and artists will travel to both cities between the 16 and 26 October.
Since its debut in 2017, the festival has been working to develop and enhance jazz production by giving local and international jazz musicians the opportunity to exchange knowledge and network across the platform.
Saffar is an exceptional player, described as “uniquely balanced in harmonising jazz and Arabic music” and “one of the most promising figures in jazz today”, as written by The Wire magazine and Chicago Tribune.
Al-Saffar is considered an expert trumpet player, with a classic background. He not only delves deeper into contemporary jazz, he has also developed techniques for operating microtones and tonal music that express Arabic music that is not normally heard on the trumpet. In addition, he enriches his music with endangered types of music, such as the Iraqi Maqam tradition, which he performs efficiently as a singer and santur player.
The festival will run until Saturday 26th, with a second performance from No Tongues, a young French band inspired by the world vocal traditions, performing in poetic ways that reflect the distinct cultures of peoples and tribes. Followed by drummer Jim Black’s "Malamute", who adopts the idea of avant-garde experimental jazz, whom will also give a talk, followed by a show by hip-hop artist and activist researcher Akua Naru.
The A.M. Qattan Foundation, in partnership with MahraJazz aims to support independent artistic initiatives in Palestine. This year, Qattan decided to build a partnership with an independent festival to coordinate the initiation phase to execution. As a result, the partnership allowed MahraJazz to cross borders and reach all parts of Palestine.
MahraJazz received a grant to organise the first edition from Qattan Foundation in 2017.