It’s that time of the year when Bahrain gears up for the music and festivities of its much-awaited annual jazz festival. This year, the BNP Paribas Bahrain Jazz Fest, produced by Clockwork, returns to celebrate its seventh anniversary in an exhilarating new format as a two-day event for the very first time. Scheduled for November 2 & 3, 2023, the festival will be held at the iconic Royal Golf Club with an exceptional lineup of local and international award-winning jazz and blues artists showcased on two stages at this family friendly event.
With bigger and better performances promised for Bahrain’s discerning music aficionados year on year, the lineup for 2023 is sure to surpass every expectation. The headliner artists include Andrea Motis, a 28 year old Spanish jazz trumpeter, singer, songwriter and saxophonist who sings in Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese, English and has collaborated with legendary artists such as Quincy Jones, Omara Portuondo, Milton Nascimento, Gil Goldstein, as well as performed together with Yo-Yo Ma. The second headliner band MaMoGi is an all-star, powerhouse trio that plays progressive rock, electronic and jazz music. MaMoGi also features Mohini Dey – a 27 year old bass player from India who has collaborated with stalwarts like Marco Minnemann, Jordan Rudess of Dream Theatre, Zakir Hussain, Sivamani and AR Rahman. These young, multi-faceted musicians from diverse cultures and geographic regions, will provide a dimension to the festival which resonates with its theme Jazz for All, All for Jazz – reaffirming jazz music being representative of and embracing the principles of equal opportunity.
The other international names performing this year include:
- Laurent Coulondre – multi award-winning jazz virtuoso
- Rudy and The Kool Kats who are known for their soulful blues melodies,
- The Sweet Simones a Swing, Jazz and Jump Blues band from Munich, Germany
- La Bouche Manouche a vintage jazz quintet influenced by the chic era of the Jazz Age
- Cabo Cuba Jazz that blends the melancholy of the Cape Verdean Islands with a generous portion of Cuban rumba
- Cosimo and The Hot Coals, a unique band from the Italian and European scene who merge the ‘10s and ‘20s jazz tradition with their unmistakable Italian style.
Gracing the occasion with his presence, Bahrain Tourism Exhibition and Authority (BTEA) CEO Dr. Nasser Qaedi said “Jazz is a universal language that transcends borders and cultures, and we are delighted to see the BNP Paribas Bahrain Jazz Fest upgrade to a two-day event, further strengthening Bahrain’s position in the international jazz scene and attracting enthusiasts and showcases Bahrain’s vibrant arts and cultural scene.”
“We are proud to partner with Clockwork and BNP Paribas to bring this unique music festival to our kingdom. I invite music enthusiasts from near and far to join us at the Royal Golf Club on November 2 and 3, 2023, for an unforgettable celebration of jazz, as the festival promises to captivate audiences, foster cultural exchange, and contribute to the vibrant tapestry of Bahrain’s tourism landscape.”
“I am confident that BNP Paribas Bahrain Jazz Fest’s growing reputation as a world-class music event will undoubtedly draw attendees from across the globe. By blending exceptional jazz and blues acts from around the world with Bahrain’s welcoming hospitality and vibrant cultural heritage, the festival offers both music enthusiasts and tourists a compelling incentive to explore Bahrain. We envision this splendid event serving as a driving force for tourism, making Bahrain an enticing destination for visitors,” according to Dr. Qaedi.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Jude D’Souza, Managing Director, Clockwork said, “Presenting for the very first time a two-day festival with fifteen performing bands, is a giant leap in the progress of the BNP Paribas Bahrain Jazz Fest. Over the last six years, we have celebrated more than 100 musicians and hosted over 30,000 visitors from around the world. We take this opportunity to thank our presenting partner BNP Paribas, our strategic partner Bahrain Tourism, and Exhibitions Authority, and all our main sponsors, co sponsors and partners for their continuous support to help us grow consistently year on year and have Bahrain now firmly placed on the world jazz map.”
Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, CEO of BNP Paribas, Middle East and Africa said, “We are truly delighted to continue our partnership with the BNP Paribas Bahrain Jazz Fest for the seventh year. Jazz is a genre that transcends boundaries, and we are particularly proud of the multitude of regional musical talent that enrich the programme year-on-year. Jazz is important because it represents the universal language of harmony, collaboration and innovation—values we cherish and actively foster in our business endeavors.
Our involvement in the festival is also about community engagement. We see this as an opportunity to give back to the vibrant Bahraini community, and nurture talent amongst the youth, especially in the schools. Through the BNP Paribas Foundation, the Bank has been supporting jazz for over 25 years in many countries across the world.”
The festival since its inception has been supporting local and regional artists. This year too there will be some stellar performances by:
- Jazziyat by Banah, a Jazz Revival of Oriental Classics who will perform with the Armstrong Now! band;
- Loulwa Al-Sharif, a Saudi jazz singer, who has captivated audiences across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with her mesmerizing voice,
- The Relocators a Bahraini blues music group
- Hotboxgroove, Bahrain’s blues fusion 6-piece band.
Jude D’Souza added as his concluding statement, “While music is at the core of all our endeavors at the festival, we are also committed to practicing sustainable jazz. We have been working since 2017 towards a paper free environment while also adopting cashless ticketing and purchasing, removing the need to use paper tickets or hard cash for purchases. Further, the BNP Paribas Bahrain Jazz Fest® will provide added business promotion opportunities to Bahraini companies for its production, set up and vending requirements at the festival.”
Tickets are available for a single day of the festival at BD22 per person for 15 years and above; and BD 11 for 7 – 14 years. 2-day festival tickets are available for BD33 per person for 15 years and above; and BD16.5 for 7 – 14 years. Children 6 years and under are allowed in for free on both days. Anyone under the age of 18 years must be accompanied by an adult. All Beyon Money card users can also avail of exclusive discounts on tickets for the full ticket sales period. Tickets are available online at Platinumlist.
For more information visit www.bahrainjazzfest.com or look on social media for Bahrain Jazz Fest.