Al Mahha was invited to opera jazz concert by Kuwaiti musician composer Nawaf Ghribah “Bija” at the cultural and art hub in Kuwait (Bayt Lothan). on May 2nd, 2012.
“Bija” presented a different music fusion, a combination of past and present, a mixture of cultures done by talented 26-piece orchestra. Audience were thrilled with the positive, soulful atmosphere. The efforts Nawaf put to bring together the musicians and vocals, noting they are all at a young age, deserves a big chapeau bas.
The concert opened with ‘In the beginning’, a track inspired by the traditional folk song Bismillah or In the name of God, originally composed by Ghanam Al Dikan; sung by Kuwaiti operatic singer Amani Al Haiji with many in the audience singing along. Viviane Chahrouri performed a contemporary French Jazz number next which was inspired by the ‘Jujube’ fruit. The lyrics were written by Al Gheraibah’s talented wife, Dalal Alomairi. Jalal al Din Muhammed Rumi’s work certainly make for soulful ballads. His poem, ‘Who am I?’ influenced a contemporary blues song while devotional worship of ‘Bhakti’ drew from Deepak Chopra’s ‘The love poems of Rumi.’ Inareedo, a condensed ‘In a didgeridoo’, introduced many in the audience to the drone of the aboriginal didgeridoo.
“I had written this song quite some time ago, when I was doing my bachelors degree. I recently revisited the song and re-did it. So it is a re-do”, says Al Gheraibah.
Giro Giro, combines the classic Italian nursery rhyme Giro Giro or Ring Around the Rosie with the ancestral work songs of Middle East Mariners. This song pays homage to the old Kuwaiti tradition and maritime culture, when men had to venture into the sea to bring back wealth. Duda is written for his wife, Dalal Alomairi who he credits his success to. The concert ended on a high note with a lingering Malak Shiva, based on the 60’s Kenyan pop song ‘Malaika’ that left the audience with a taste for more.
The vocal talents included Faisal Marei, Amani AlHajji, Hadi Khamis, Viviane Chahrouri, Muntaser Al Farsi and the remarkable Noora Kassem. The musicians were made up of Abdulwahab Al Qattan, Oana Severin, Jumanah Jaber, Mena Maged, Shaikha Al Wotaid and Mohammed Al Zanki on the violin, Ali Sleeq on the bass, Abdulla Haji on the Saxophone and Clarinet, Abbas Ali on the trumpet, Hamad Thani on the cello, Salem Ghanim on Contrabass, Zahra Al Qallaf playing the Qanoon and Yousef Al Qallaf on the Oud with Mohammed Rashid on Guitar and Marina Maged on piano. Percussionists were Abdullah Al Bloushei, Ghanim Al Faraj, Ahmed Al Qattan and Faisal Al Salem.
“Bija” is a true inspiring, motivating and encouraging intiative taken by the youths, it only proves again the amount of great talent Kuwait and Middle East has amoung the young generation who are proundly embrace their past, traditions with future and ambitions.