04 November 2021
Photo of Qatar Music Academy performing at the European Jazz Festival

The night was filled with Jazz music as the 7th Katara European Jazz Festival formally opened yesterday.

A crowd of over 500 people were entertained to the tune from Orchestre National de Jazz (ONJ) from France, followed by the Austrian duo (Sin Moss) Philip Erasmus on guitar and Clemens Sinzer on cello, and Portuguese trio, Ricardo Toscano on the saxophone, Nelson Cascais on the bass and André Souza Machado on the drums.

Ambassador of the delegation of European Union (EU) to states of Qatar and Kuwait H E Christian Tudor said: “The holding of Katara European Jazz festival this year in partnership with many European embassies in Doha as well as the EU delegation for Qatar aims at presenting to the Qatari audience some of the finest European Jazz music. We are proud to be supporting this festival for the second consecutive year. Jazz music has captured the imagination of global audiences for many years.”

Qatar Airways is the official sponsor of the event. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, H E Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways is proud to be the Official Airline of the 7th Katara European Jazz Festival 2021, a prestigious event that attracts some of the world’s best jazz musicians and composers as well as draws a large and diverse audience, bringing music enthusiasts from around the globe to our beloved nation.”

Talking to The Peninsula, Frédéric Maurin, ONJ Artistic Director said: “Jazz music is mostly about communicating on stage between musicians, for us, the COVID-19 pandemic is terrible, you cannot do jazz alone, this is a collective music.” He also said that being able to be “back on stage and play together is the really core of what we are doing.”

Maurin hoped that this music can bring some freedom to the public. “This music is really about freedom and free will of speech, in this music everything can be possible and that’s a great way to think about things differently,” he explained. ONJ opened its performance with “Dancing in your head” by the famous New York jazz musician Ornette Coleman. He was considered one of the most powerful and contentious innovators in jazz history.

Ambassador of French Republic to Qatar, H E Jean-Baptiste Faivre, said: “We are very happy that we can celebrate music again, delighted that we will enjoy four days of jazz. Jazz maybe as spiritual and mysterious as festive and joyful.”

A special guest also performed along ONJ, selected students from Qatar Music Academy. Faivre called this collaboration “a great initiative and encouragement to the young musicians.”

Maurin likewise conveyed his appreciation to the young students saying “they did a great job working on this beat because it’s quite tricky, it’s not that simple.”

France is the host country for the said event.

One spectator of the event Rhoda Acordo from the Philippines said that the rhythm and music of jazz is pleasing to the soul, “this is my first time witnessing a live jazz band and being able to experience it amid the pandemic is a reassuring factor that all will be well with time.”

The European Jazz Festival will last until November 6 with performances from Switzerland, Germany, and Poland today; Belgium, Hungary and Greece on Friday; and Italy and Spain on Saturday. The festival is a remarkable development in Qatar as it is being sponsored by the European Union. 

It is also one of Katara’s most prominent undertaking in process of building ties between peoples through culture, art, and creativity, as music is one of the most beautiful ways of human expression and a strong bridge that contributes efficiently in civilisational and cultural exchange and encourages cooperation and rapprochement between different peoples and communities in the world.

Read the full article here.