Part of the World Music Day Festivals in Lebanon, the Youth and Culture Center of Zouk Mikael with the French Cultural Centre in Jounieh, in collaboration with Smile Together held, on Monday, June 20, a concert for the group “Nahas Project” in the scenery of the Public Garden of Zouk Mikael. An audience of 650 Jazz Fusion fans filled the Odeon’s stands of the Garden of Olives. Here is the testimony of one of the spectators, Ms. Marie-Chantale Sundberg:
“We arrive a little early to secure good seats. We are intrigued by this evening, because we had only heard of the group “Nahas project”. Slowly, the hubbub of the audience turns into whispers. Soon it’s very still in the middle of the park. The silence allows the audience, holding its breath, to better appreciate the virtuosos, that take us beyond the shores of the Mediterranean, through melodies that enchant us and will even make us dance. At the end of the show, artists are encored several times, and obligingly, they re-enact two pieces before retiring under huge applause.”
Sébastien Bertrand, born in Lebanon and abandoned at Adib Nahas Street, hence the name of the group as he will tell us during the evening, was adopted by a Vendean family at the age of 9 months. In early 2010, when Sebastian, who plays diatonic accordions, is on tour in Lebanon, he meets Osama Abdel Fattah, a talented “Oud” player and specialist in Arabic and oriental musical tradition. The marriage of these two musical worlds is magical and enchanting. Thus was born the project Nahas, referring to the street where the orphanage took in Sebastian.
Sebastien and Osama were accompanied by Julien Padovani (piano), Alexis Thérain (acoustic guitar), Sylvain Fabre (acoustic and electronic percussion) and Jean-Marc <Ange B> Enjalbert (beat box).
The audience included select members such as H.E. the Ambassador of Mexico Jorge Alvarez, Ms. Melody Bardin Jounieh CCF Director, Ms. Antoinette Mrad, Presdent of SMILE Together, Ms. Crystel El Chayeb, Secretary General of Lebanon Development Union (LDU), Me. Nouhad Naufal Mayor of Zouk Mikael, President of the League of Mukhtars of Kesserwan/Ftouh Ms. Josiane Khalil, Ms. Denise Bou Karam Machaar Jounieh City Council member and the members of the Zouk Mikael City Council; Dr. Maroun Massaad, Mr. Elie Zgheib and Mr. Habib Aoude.