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Yehya Khalil celebrates jazz at Sohar music festival

MUSCAT — The Egyptian drummer and percussionist Yehya Khali, the Dutch performer Saskia Laroo and the Dutch band The Stirrrs are lined up to perform at Sohar Music Festival, the Jazz Night, today, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Jazz fans say the music night sounds great. Andrew Torchia, a journalist correspondent with an international news agency in the Gulf says, “congrats on putting them together!

“What an amazing character Yehya Khalil is, to have made his way to the states in the 60s and ended up playing with James Brown. The Dutch sound interesting too, in a way Europe is carrying on the lyrical, melodic tradition in jazz more than the US.”

Already internationally famous for featuring Peter Gertz band, Jan Dumee and Magda Mendes Brazilian Quarted, Double Espresso with Wieke Garcia, the Sohar Music Festival Jazz Night is well established in the calendar of events of the wilayat. It aims to promote and celebrate jazz.

Yehya Khalil is renowned for creating sheer musical masterpieces with accordion, piano, violin, African drums and tambourine among other instruments.

He is well known for not wasting one cord and to give birth to an innovative music genre.

As the French artist Henri Mattesse once said, “Jazz is all rhythm and meaning” and, the Egyptian percussionist attests to that with gusto and passion in his performances around the world.

Taking the audience to a world of culture fusion Yehya Khalil is at the helm of the jazz movement in the Middle East. He is also known to be the founding of Egyptian jazz scene which started in 1957.

Famous for his music and for attracting thousands of fans to his concerts around the world, he looks with great interest to his first performance in Oman though Yehya has performed in more than twenty countries with more than 5,000 concerts over the years.

The return of Dutch jazz players Saskia Laroo, the Lady Miles Davis of Europe, to the Sohar Music Festival is seen as an endorsement of the success of the event. The trumpet player is at her best when playing with the musical instrument and with the audience. She captivates the public with her charm and fascinating performance.

The Amsterdam based band The Stirrrs is also set to perform at the Jazz Night for the first time. The band is considered to be a success among jazz lovers of all ages. The eight member group is known to blend with grace and flamboyance all styles of music. Doors at the Crowne Plaza Hotel open at 5 pm and performances start at 7 pm.

The Sohar Music Festival puts together a variety of concerts appealing to different age groups and music styles. Recently, there was the World Music Night at the Sohar Beach Hotel with artistes from different musical genres.

Drummers from the ABA School from Muscat, Al Batinah International School from Sohar, Salsa dancers and So Sing choir from Sohar, 123 Orion band and the French band Iznogoud both from Muscat.

The Festival will conclude the following weekend, March 29, with the Omani Night at the Recreational Park in Sohar with the sohari singer and pop star Layla bint Nassib and the folk groups Al Makarem and Al Retag.