Lebanon: The New Jazz Scene?
When you think of Lebanon, and not necessarily Beirut, a lot of thoughts come to mind, a lot of artistic associations can be created, a lot of historical, political and social aspects stand out that define the world wide image in the minds of the international community.
The music scene has been picking up pace lately, with various genres gaining mainstream success. A lot of internationally renowned DJs have been holding massive events, naming Beirut as one of their top destinations, but has anybody considered the rise of the Jazz scene Lebanon has been witnessing in the past 2 years?
This year alone have seen various established Jazz musicians headline the international festivals held in Byblos, Beiteddine and Baalbeck with the likes of Diana Krall and the Kevin Mahogany Quintet among others.
Moreover, with the Beirut International Festival entering its 7th Edition this year, the musicians line-up, headed by Randy Crawford, Patti Austin and the amazing Joe Sample Trio, sends out a strong message that Jazz in Lebanon is just getting started!
Let’s not forget Lebanon’s own Jazz artists, with a talent reaching international standards. That alone is a major backing up for witnessing the emergence of the Jazz scene. Guitar virtuosos Mike Stern and Larry Coryell, trumpet master Richie Vitale and saxophonist Chico Freeman have all been backed up by a complete Lebanese line-up headed by drummer Walid Tawil.
With jazz comes education, spiritual education, and when I take a look at the Lebanese society and observe that Jazz is gaining more and more mainstream attention, its just pleasing to realize that we, as Lebanese, are on the right track.