Jurf's Gentlemen: local artists combine Classical Western and Oriental music

Jurf's Gentlemen
The singers Yazan Jurf (left) and Omar Jurf (right) in an updated photo. (Photo: Handouts from Jurf's Gentlemen)
AMMAN —Local musicians and brothers Omar and Yazan Jurf seek to revamp classical western music and oriental music by merging both to give a new life to the classics.  اضافة اعلان

The Jurf siblings come from an artistic family and have been singing since childhood. Omar shared in an interview with Jordan News, "We are a musical family, and we all play musical instruments and are involved in music since the beginning of our lives." He also recalled various times where the family attended concerts and shared their passion for music.

When Amman went into lockdown in 2020, the Jurf siblings decided to pursue their passion and start a band named "Jurf's Gentlemen," which focused on presenting a rich classical performance. "The band was born during the COVID-19 pandemic, as we suggested to create a musical band with our musician friends," said Yazan.

Jurf's Gentlemen performed their debut "Halim-Sinatra" at the Amman Jazz Festival in November 2020. The debut featured a modern cross-cultural twist influenced by notable classical musicians like Abdel Halim Hafiz and Frank Sinatra. The unique mash-up of soulful western and remarkable eastern sounds allowed the singers to revive the luster of some golden oldies.

"Amman Jazz Festival was the first performance for Jurf's Gentlemen," Yazan said, "It was a great experience, especially that the festival in 2020 was for local artists. Moreover, this experience has given us our first push and introduced us to the audience."

The festival showcased 20 bands from Jordan to the world virtually. It was filmed on the rooftops of the MMAG Foundation in Amman. The breathtaking views surrounded by the ancient houses of the Amman old city were animated with music to merge with the city's soundscape and create a new symphony.

The band's debut "Halim-Sinatra" project is a mixture of songs from Abdel Halim Hafiz and Frank Sinatra, creating an auditory mosaic where Yazan performs Abdel Halim Hafiz and Omar performs Frank Sinatra. "The idea is to combine old oriental and western classic songs, and we chose Abdel Halim Hafiz and Frank Sinatra because they are our favorite artists, and since my childhood, I used to sing for Abdel Halim Hafiz," said Yazan.

The singers Omar Jurf (left) and Yazan Jurf (right) in an updated photo. (Photo: Handouts from Jurf's Gentlemen)

Yazan also added that they are preparing for new mash-up songs by other eastern and western legendary singers from the golden era. "We will keep singing mash-up songs, in addition to medley songs in both Arabic and English," Yazan mentioned.

The singers released their latest work, "A Message of Hope," at the beginning of 2021, on Jurf's Gentlemen YouTube channel. The song has reached more than 5,000 views since its release.

Omar shared that the inspiration for the song came to the brothers during quarantine and lockdown when the brothers felt that the public atmosphere was gloomy and depressing. "The idea appeared when Yazan and I were talking that life cannot go on without hope; and how 2020 has been a difficult year for too many people," he said. "This song was a way to spread hope to people, and we believe that one day we will be rid of the difficult circumstances that we have faced during the pandemic." Omar also shared that the songs were deliberately chosen for "A Message of Hope" to encourage hope and peace.

Hala Jurf, the artists' business manager, told Jordan News about the role social media played in supporting the band, "We are now in the era of social media, which is the biggest platform to reach people quickly. So it is a strong tool in our hands to deliver to the world this new performance, which represents the international artists."

She added that Jurf's Gentlemen aim to connect the modern generation to the era of magnificent classical music through their performances. "We feel that using social media is the most effective approach to reach out to youth, and we get amazing results from it," she said.

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