British Council was pleased to host the open Jazz concert “Alhaan Al Siduri” by British-Bahraini artist Yazz Ahmed, in collaboration with the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities. The Jazz concert took place on 15th October 2016 at 8 pm in the Cultural Hall, as part of the 25th Bahrain International Music Festival and the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of relations between Bahrain and the UK.
Jazz fans lined up 2 hours before the concert to ensure getting a seat for the exquisite musical night. The concert, the first for Yazz in Bahrain, was huge success with the public with over 400 people attending.
Alan Rutt, British Council Director Bahrain said “We’re delighted to be able to support such an inspirational artist to take part in our Bahrain-UK 200 celebrations. Yazz’s work over the years has shown how music really can contribute to building greater knowledge and understanding. When communicating between cultures, words can only take us so far – and this is where music like Yazz’s can perhaps, better bring into being the UK-Bahrain connection, for audiences to enjoy and share together.”
Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities commented “We are delighted to have Yazz Ahmed a Bahraini-British rising trumpet player perform coincide with two significant occasions; The celebration of 200 years of diplomatic relations between UK and Kingdom of Bahrain, and the 25th International Bahrain Music Festival. It’s important to encourage such young talents, and expose the audience to wide range genre, as we Always strive to activating the actual role of culture, art ,and music as tools to achieve a rapprochement between all nations.”
Regarding her performance, artist Yazz Ahmed stated “Performing in Bahrain, my first home, was a very special experience. It was an absolute honour to be a part of the festival and to represent Bahrain and the UK. It was such a joy to share my heritage with my band and for them to see the generosity and great hospitality Bahrain so kindly offers.”
Since releasing Finding My Way Home in 2011, British-Bahraini trumpet player and composer Yazz Ahmed has emerged as a distinctive voice on the UK jazz scene. She won praise as the leader of two musical ensembles, the Yazz Ahmed Quitnet quintet and Ahmed Family Hafla septet and represented Bahrain in 2012 during London’s cultural Olympiad. Over her career, Yazz has performed with her at venues around the world and collaborated with international artists from various genres.
Alhaan Al Siduri, composed by Yazz Ahmed, is a suite inspired by the work songs of the Bahraini pearl divers and the traditional wedding songs of the women groups of Bahrain, fused with jazz elements and electronics.
Siduri is a character mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh. She is a goddess of the Gulf that lives on an island at the edge of the sea. Her land is a garden in which the sun walks in the morning. Yazz decided to imagine that this island mentioned in the epic poem might be Bahrain, the island of two seas. The lyrics are a combination of fragments of traditional Bahraini songs, translated into English and Yazz’s own daydreams, musings on her homeland, written in this melancholy style.