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Jordan a ‘unique musical hub’ for global concertgoers

Fifth edition of Jordan Festival to kick off Wednesday, include performances by local, Arab and Western artists

By Muath Freij - Jul 10,2018 - Last updated at Jul 10,2018

AMMAN — Jordan has become a unique musical hub for global concertgoers thanks to the diverse and great number of events that are held in the Kingdom, said Souha Bawab, the executive director of Friends of Jordan Festivals (FJF).

During an interview with The Jordan Times ahead of their upcoming Jordan Festival, Bawab said that concert and music organisers “have a positive impact on tourism in Jordan because they contribute to attracting a great number of tourists into the Kingdom and provide them with a wide range of choices”, she told The Jordan Times at the premises of FJF in Amman.

Bawab voiced hope that their coming event will play a positive role in this regard, as she believes their past events have done.

“We already had signs that whenever we hold an important musical show people plan to head to Jordan. During Andrea Bocelli's concert in Jerash, 36 per cent of audience members came from 12 different countries to attend this show,” she recounted.

Some 3,500 music enthusiasts came to Jerash last September to see world-famous Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli perform, accompanied by an array of celebrated artists, including Jordanian soprano Dima Bawab. 

Jordan Festival is the fifth event FJF holds at Amman Citadel and there are plans to have it held annually, according to Bawab.

“Our event is huge and diverse. There are Arab, Western and local artists,” she added.

The event will not be exclusively held in Amman Citadel, but concerts are planned in other theatres around the capital.

The festival will start with a classical musical concert on July 11 that will include a piano recital by Ghadeer Abaido and Bank Al Etihad Quartet.

On July 24, Dima Bawab along with other artists will deliver an opera performance. 

During August, Tom Odell, Emel Mathlouthi, Reham Abdel Hakim and Tom Jones will perform their shows at Amman Citadel.

“We also invited local artists to open each concert and this is a new thing we introduce in our shows because we wanted to create a cultural exchange and bridge between Western and local artists. This will expose foreign artists into the local talent and culture,” she told The Jordan Times, adding that organisers also invited local musicians to perform along with foreign participating artists.

Organisers will open the citadel site at 4pm to allow concertgoers to enjoy the site and atmosphere ahead of the show. 

Bawab stressed the importance of the link between the archaeological site and the musical shows, describing Jordan as an open-air museum. 

“It is cheaper and easier for us to hold concerts inside theatres as they are already well-equipped, but we also insist on holding our outdoor concerts to provide a unique experience for concertgoers. It is not about a concert it is about a full experience, which includes getting to know the archaeological sites that exist in Jordan and we appreciating them,” she added. 

The festival will wrap up on August 8.

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