Top UK band Jamiroquai lauds ‘magical’ concert venue for Saudi festival performance

We can’t wait to see how our funky sounds work in what looks like a truly one-of-a-kind venue — Maraya Concert Hall. Jay Kay
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Updated 04 February 2020

Top UK band Jamiroquai lauds ‘magical’ concert venue for Saudi festival performance

  • Jay Kay: “We were delighted to be invited to this ancient and unique city and are eager to learn more about its culture and history”
  • During their career, Jamiroquai have sold more than 26 million albums worldwide

ALULA: The lead singer of world-famous band Jamiroquai has said he “can’t wait” to perform at AlUla’s “magical” concert venue this weekend.

The award-winning English funk and acid jazz group will be taking to the stage at the Maraya Concert Hall during the second Winter at Tantora festival.

Singer-songwriter and the band’s lead vocalist, Jay Kay, said: “We were delighted to be invited to this ancient and unique city and are eager to learn more about its culture and history.

“We also can’t wait to see how our funky sounds work in what looks like a truly one-of-a-kind venue, the magical, mirrored Maraya Concert Hall. It is a privilege to be able to play around the world and look forward to bringing the party to AlUla.”

The hall is the largest mirror-constructed theater in the world, can hold 500 people, and is fitted with a high-quality sound system. The event, organized by the Royal Commission for AlUla, is being held in the city to showcase its unique location, scenic landscapes, history and culture.

Jamiroquai, from London, will perform a selection of their greatest hits which helped define music in the 1990s and beyond.

Fronted by Kay, the group was formed in 1992, and is best known for hits including “Canned Heat,” “Virtual Insanity,” which won video of the year at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, and “Deeper Underground,” which topped the charts in the UK. All eight of their albums made it into the British top 10 charts with three reaching the No. 1 spot.  

During their career, Jamiroquai have sold more than 26 million albums worldwide. Their third album, “Traveling Without Moving” (1996), was named in the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling funk album in history.

The band also won the Ivor Novello Award for outstanding song collection from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, in addition to a Grammy, two Billboard Music Awards, and 16 nominations for The BRIT Awards. The Winter at Tantora festival includes many other attractions including local markets, a winter garden, farms and the Old Town of AlUla.

Over the course of 12 weeks, the festival is presenting a range of activities merging Eastern and Western culture, embodying AlUla’s heritage as a meeting point for different civilizations from around the world.

The event takes place every weekend until March 7, and visitors will get the chance to tour the historic heritage sites before they close to the public until October this year. Musical and artistic performances by some of the most respected Arab and international artists will also be staged.

The rebirth of AlUla
Hegra, ancient city of the Nabataeans in Saudi Arabia’s historic AlUla Valley, is emerging from the mists of time to take its rightful place as one of the wonders of the world

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TheFace: Noor Balfaqeeh, PR head at Saudi National Center for Performance Measurement

Updated 4 min 58 sec ago

TheFace: Noor Balfaqeeh, PR head at Saudi National Center for Performance Measurement

My upbringing influenced my choice of career and determined the things that I am passionate about. As a purpose-driven person, I find meaning in everything I do and turn it into the fuel that keeps me moving.

Born in Jeddah and raised in Madinah, I was the eldest child in the family home which put me at the forefront of responsibility. Looking after my siblings and helping my mother with chores, taught me how to depend on myself and care about others.

I grew up in a house close to the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, which turned it into a motel-like destination, where we would receive friends and relatives from all over the world. I also remember that we used to free-up two rooms of the house every Hajj season to host pilgrims, and this awakened a sense of giving in me.

As a teenager, I helped my father in his work, mainly writing and publishing books. I also assisted him in his genealogy work, which is the study of families and tracing lineages.

Besides enjoying my time with the non-stop guests and playing with my sisters, school was the biggest joy of my life. When I did not come first in my class, I would be second.

In 1994, I graduated from high school as one of the top 10 students and would have gone to engineering college if it had been available for girls. Instead, I studied at King Abdul Aziz University from where I gained a bachelor’s degree in linguistics. I later obtained a master’s degree in translation from the University of Birmingham.

My husband is a great man. Ever since I left my parents’ house, he has been my partner, a great father to our children, my mentor and above all my soul mate. Together we have been on a quest to find a good life together and aid the development of each other.

I am a mother of four beautiful jewels; two of them are adults and are out of the nest studying abroad. The other two little girls are the joy of my life and we are enjoying life’s adventures together.

I am the head of public relations and communication at the National Center for Performance Measurement (Adaa). Joining Adaa in 2018 was an adventurous move and a life-changing decision. I had to move to Riyadh with my family after spending five years as head of communications and sustainable business at multi-national company Unilever, in Jeddah.

My career in public relations and communications started in 2007 at Effat University.

The qualities that were deeply embedded in me for helping and serving others came to good use when I became a certified consultant of Birkman psychometric assessment.

WildFit Arabia is another project that I am working on with two of my dear friends. The program is a unique nutritional and lifestyle challenge that helps people to maintain a healthy weight and lead a healthy lifestyle.

I am also translating a book by a scientist and scholar who changed my life when I attended many of his workshops.

My journey of self-exploration started in 2011 and paved the way for many positive changes in my life on professional, personal, social and spiritual levels. I am a resilient person who is filled with peace and love for everyone and everything.

My biggest achievement was to holistically stabilize myself emotionally, socially and professionally, something which allowed me to become better in all aspects of my life.

Every morning I meditate and remind myself, “I am full of hope and gratitude, I am determined to give and serve, I am full of confidence that I am better in every role I play in this life.”

The motto I stand by is: Every day and in every way, I am getting better and better. So, I know that even the sky is not my limit and with good intention I will continue positively impacting the lives of whoever crosses my path.