Traveling Sounds: Saudi music in the bright lights of New York

Traveling Sounds: Saudi music in the bright lights of New York

Saudi's National Orchestra and Choir will perform five shows this weekend
14 September 23
Saudi National Orchestra and Choir, New York City

This weekend, eighty of Saudi's most talented musicians and singers will perform in New York City.

The National Orchestra and Choir (NOC) will participate in a showcase, 'Masterpieces of Saudi Music', beginning this weekend as they take to the stage in the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Square. Accompanying American jazz band, Dizzy Gillespie, the NOC and the Saudi Performing Arts Band will perform a medley of Saudi folk songs.

Traditional Saudi Arabian music, folk songs and talent continues to be recognised and celebrated by the industry around the world.

Supported by Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, and presented by the Theater and Performing Arts Commission, this showcase will feature five productions that highlight the rich cultural diversity of the Kingdom. Among these performances are Al-Majrour and Al-Samari.

New York's Metropolitan Opera House concert marks the third stop on the 'Masterpieces of Saudi Music' initiative's global tour, following previous performances in Paris and the U.S. state of New Mexico. The initiative's primary goal is to acquaint the world with Saudi musical genres and the world of performing arts.

A more eclectic Saudi music is being explored by up-and-coming music creatives, as they work to both develop and explore the emerging music scene in the Kingdom, following the royal decree in 2019 by Saudi’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) which announced that music was permissible in licensed establishments.

Whilst the more traditional elements of Saudi music and culture is still being coveted, protected and promoted. This is evident in the creation of a brand new centre for learning, Oud House is a new cultural project recently developed and launched in association with Saudi Music Commission to encourage the nation to learn and preserve the traditional music At the heart of this innovative learning centre lies a commitment to nurturing and preserving the timeless facets of Arabic music.

Earlier this summer, The Global Gala or جلوبال جالا celebrated 40 years of showcasing the best talent from Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries in the British capital. This year's concert series took place in the exclusive London borough of Mayfair, at luxury hotel The Grosvenor on the iconic Park Lane.