Dubai: Musicians playing instruments that range from oud, saxophone and guitar, as well as one-man bands and innovative artists, Metro Music Festival was all set to enthrall commuters from March 17 until March 23. Free to attend, the week-long festival. It features 25 international artists and offers Dubai Metro riders something to hum about.
Metro stations where concerts held
The festival, was held across five metro stations — DMCC, Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Union and Burjuman — had back-to-back performances during morning and evening peak hours.
Shaima Al Suwaidi, City Branding Manager, Brand Dubai, told Gulf News: “The artists have not performed before in the region and they will present unique art forms and instruments made of unusual material such as vessels, glasses etc. The idea of bringing them here is to celebrate creativity, talent and innovation, while bringing different cultures together,” added Al Suwaidi.
Hailing from different parts of the world, the line-up of performers include Glass Bottle Xylophone player Fedor Grigorev from Russia, One-Man Band from India, Italian PorcaPizza who plays instruments made from recycled items as well as Aleksander Lemeshev from Russia who plays glass harp, an instrument made out of drinking glasses.
From Indonesia Rizal Abdul Hadi is a multi-instrumentalist, folk singer, songwriter, instrument builder and social activist from West Java, based in Ubud, Bali. He has dedicated his music and career towards creating social change and promoting creativity. Rizal developed the Rasendriya, which combines guitar with didgeridoo and celempung (percussion). Further exploring the use of bamboo for instruments, Rizal’s latest project is his Bamboo Lapsteel Guitar and Strings instrument. In late 2012, Rizal made waves on the international music scene. He has toured Australia twice and performed at many international festivals. Recently, Rizal was chosen as a ‘Global Youth Hero 2018’ by Global Youth Leaders.
Another musician from Indonesia was Agung Perdana, a musician from the city of Padang Panjang, West Sumatra Province, Indonesia. Agung plays the talempong, a traditional Indonesian instrument.
Some local and regional artists was also perform at the festival. Among them are Emirati guitarist Khadija Salem, Jordanian Hand Pan performer Kdun Ebrahim Allbaz, Syrian Qanun player Rami Kanjou and Saudi Arabian melodica player Taher Al Bahrani.
The morning session was held from 6am to 12 noon, while the evening gig was played from 4pm to 9pm, with all artists taking turns to perform at different stations.
Organised by Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office, in association with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the festival aims to be a celebration of the spirit of Dubai.
“This is the celebration of global art and culture. It is a celebration of the people of Dubai, who hail from all parts of the world and there is no better way to connect people than through music,” said Shaima.