This gypsy jazz band consists of aspiring musicians Abdulla Haji on clarinet and saxophone, and guitarist Mohammed Rashid, the duo behind La Pompe.
Both academic musicians, they were originally inspired by the French gypsy jazz sounds of legends like Jean “Django” Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli, and swing music in general.
If it wasn't the first, this was certainly one of the first gypsy jazz bands to form in the region, alongside other collaborators, and they’ve been performing both all over the region for years now.
“We don’t think there is an actual or proper music scene on the island,” Haji tells Time Out. “We lack professionalism in how music is promoted and performed. Plus all the music genres are combined together as one music scene, which doesn’t make any sense.” One of the biggest issues holding the scene back, he says, is that venues aren’t providing proper equipment nor are they willing to pay for quality entertainment.
Despite that, “the audience in Bahrain are very supportive,” he says. As for what would make it better? “A music school would make a big difference for the next generation of musicians, for sure.”