First Published: 2010-10-13

 

London's Jazza sings in tune with Palestine

 

Artists from across cultural and music genre divides unite in festival for Palestinians.

 

Middle East Online

The 'Unthanks' Sisters singing (photo by Tali Atzmon)

By Mamoon Alabbasi – LONDON

London's 'Jazza Music Festival' kicked off Tuesday with a number of artists performing free of charge to help raise aid for the occupied Palestinian territories and highlight their plight.

The event offered a mix of music genres that crossed both cultural as well as generational divides, where a diverse audience enjoyed tunes from classic Arabic oud to a touch of contemporary Palestinian hip-hop passing through styles of jazz and into a melodic portrait of England's north east.

The evening began with warm oud tunes of Palestinian artist Nizar Al-Issa, a traditional genre of music that is a favourite generally with older Arabs, but nevertheless still captures the imagination of younger generations.

This was followed by a passionate performance that is customary of singer-songwriter Sarah Gillespie, which included my personal favourite 'Million Moons' and a number of new songs that will feature in her new album, which is expected to be released in January.

Gillespie was accompanied on stage by London-based Israeli-born saxophonist Gilad Atzmon, whose joint album with Robert Wyatt and Ros Stephen was officially released during the event.

Singing in place of Wyatt, who no longer performs in concerts, was the outstanding voice of Cleveland Wattkiss, amid a harmonic collaboration between the Sigamos Sring Quartet and the Orient House Ensemble.

A surprise performance by Tali Atzmon (wife of Gilad) delighted the Festival's audience, when she sang "For the Ghosts Within", a song for the people of Palestine, and the title track of the album.

Tali, who is usually more comfortable being behind the camera making short films, was sharing the stage side by side with Gilad, perhaps in a symbolic gesture that indicates that she is more than just the 'great woman' behind her husband's success, but an artist too.

The event also included a hip-hop song in Palestinian Arabic dialect by the distinguished young artist Shadia Mansour with fellow Palestinian Stormtrap, giving the Festival another music dimension.

A key feature of the Festival was the outstanding performance of the 'Unthanks' Sisters (Rachel and Becky), whose sweet voices sang to traditional north-eastern English folk tunes, while including a pleasant clog dance to add more percussion.

The Jazza Music Festival is organized in association with the Free Palestine Movement. The second and final show will be held Wednesday evening.

 

Hamas armed wing declares end to truce talks in Cairo

Jihadist beheading of US journalist sparks worldwide revulsion

Who will be Turkey’s new leader? All signs point to Davutoglu

German minister accuses Qatar of financing IS

Power cuts and petrol shortages: Life grows increasingly difficult in Libya

Tribal clashes kill dozens of people in troubled Darfur

Dubai real estate giant to repay debt four years ahead

Egypt hopes power cuts could ease next week

Iran provides ‘advice’ to Kurds fighting IS jihadists in Iraq

Suspected attack by Kurdish rebels kills one Turkish soldier

UN launches huge aid operation in northern Iraq

Israel pounds Gaza as mourners cry ‘revenge’

Outgoing first lady breaks silence on ‘falsehoods’ against Turkey President

Ex CIA boss: journalist's killing 'first IS terrorist attack against US

Scores of armed Yemen rebels boost positions in capital

Sinai jihadists punish supporters of Egypt army with decapitation

Germany ready to support Iraq Kurds in battle against ‘barbaric’ IS

Iran’s 'reformist' science minister sacked

Turkey assures Ocalan Kurdish peace process will press ahead

Hollande: international situation ‘most serious’ since 2001

Israeli minister: ‘Deif deserves to die’

US hits back at criticism of Ferguson racial unrest

Jihadists to US: stop air strikes or we will behead second reporter

Temporary Gaza ceasefire goes up in smoke

Islamic State in Syria: Not few brainwashed people but whole army

Egypt to US: Show us how you deal with unrest in Ferguson

Turkey seeks to revive peace talks with Iraq Kurdish rebels

Tit-for-tat attacks break Gaza ceasefire

Huthi rebels cook up ‘armed coup’ in Yemen capital

Flood of weapons in South Sudan: Who’s not to blame?

After morale boosting victory, Iraq forces intensify attacks on IS

Multi-national Arab Bank on trial for supporting terror

Violence-hit Libya gradually boosting oil output

Abbas takes Israel’s report of Hamas coup plot seriously

Saudi Grand Mufti blasts Islamic State as 'enemy No 1' of Islam

Iraqi kurd fighters cannot remember any wars quite like one against IS

Turkey detains more police officers in new eavesdropping probe raid

Lebanon's Hezbollah kills top jihadist in Syria

UN to provide massive aid for 500,000 Iraqis

Iraqi troops launch major operation to retake Tikrit

Abbas to hold talks with emir of Qatar

Kurdish protester shot dead in Turkey clashes

US airlines banned from flying over Syria

US, Syria ‘not on the same page’ in fighting IS

Israeli-Palestinian truce extend by 24 hours