Ibrahim Maalouf shines at Montreux Jazz Festival

French-Lebanese trumpet player Ibrahim Maalouf
Updated 17 July 2017
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Ibrahim Maalouf shines at Montreux Jazz Festival

MONTREUX, Switzerland: The 51st Montreux Jazz Festival ended in the wee hours of Sunday after two weeks of music events attended by some 230,000 people.
Among the highlights was Ibrahim Maalouf, who made his first appearance since 2006 at the Swiss festival.
The French-Lebanese trumpet player and composer brought his bold, brassy sound to the famed Swiss stage, moving from trumpet to piano solos as he blended jazz with melodies influenced by the Orient.
Maalouf, born in Beirut to musician parents, moved effortlessly between instruments. He grew up in Paris after the family fled Lebanon during that country’s civil war.
“I played my first concert here 11 years ago at the Montreux Jazz Cafe. When it was over, I was tired so I went to bed at 2 a.m.,” the 36-year-old Maalouf told the crowd.
“The next morning, I found out that Prince had shown up at the cafe at 2 and jammed until 5 O’clock in the morning. You learn a lot in life. Tonight I’m not sleeping,” he said.
Maalouf played tracks from his 2015 album “Red & Black Light,” including the title song, “Elephant’s Tooth” and “Improbable.” He encouraged the audience to join in humming, swaying and jumping up and down to his powerful arrangements.
— With input from Reuters
“It was more show than performance,” said Mohammad Ashkanani, a Kuwaiti fan. “But he is a great musician, I have two of his CDs, both excellent.”
“I’ve been coming for 40 years to Montreux, almost every year,” he said. “It is high-class music and I love jazz.”
Maalouf brought 35 musicians from Switzerland onstage to play “True Sorry.”
“It was huge. Just incredible playing with him for 3,000 people,” Damien Limat, a 24-year-old saxophonist from the Lausanne jazz school, told Reuters after the show.
— With input from Reuters


Prince William visits Jordan’s Roman ruins at Jerash

Updated 25 June 2018
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Prince William visits Jordan’s Roman ruins at Jerash

  • Britain’s Prince William visited the Roman ruins of Jerash in northern Jordan

AMMAN: Britain’s Prince William visited the Roman ruins of Jerash in northern Jordan on Monday, accompanied by his host Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah as part of a historic Middle East tour.
The two princes met children from Jordan and neighboring war-torn Syria during their visit to the site, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Amman.
The visit to Jordan by the second in line to the British throne has been billed as a chance to bond with Hussein, a fellow graduate of Britain’s Royal Sandhurst Military Academy.
William was also due to meet British troops based in the kingdom, before heading across the River Jordan to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The Duke of Cambridge and the heir to the Jordanian throne strolled along Jerash’s Colonnaded Street, a paved promenade lined with towering columns.
They also visited the Temple of Artemis, built on an elevated part of the site in honor of the goddess believed to protect the city, which was at its most prosperous in the third century.
When they reached the ancient site’s theater they were greeted by Syrian and Jordanian school children in traditional dress, who gave a performance including music and poetry.
The show was organized by the Makany Center, a UNESCO-backed program providing health and education to both Syrian and Jordanian pupils.
Some 650,000 Syrian refugees have registered with the United Nations in Jordan since fleeing their country’s seven-year war which was sparked by peaceful anti-government protests in 2011.
Amman estimates the actual number is closer to 1.3 million people and says it has spent more than $10 billion (8.5 billion euros) hosting them.
William paid tribute in a speech on Sunday to “the way in which you opened your doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees,” even as Jordan said the same day that it would be unable to host any new wave of asylum seekers.
His Middle East tour will see William become the first British royal to pay official visits to both Israel and the Palestinian territories.
William, who is president of the Football Association, was flying into Jordan as England thrashed Panama 6-1 in the World Cup on Sunday, but he caught a recording of the match on television at his host’s home.