Yamaha Music Square opens with a bang
Published on February 25th, 2013 | by Caesar (ENGAGE)
The new Yamaha Music Square store opened recently at the Grand Avenues but was largely low profile because the brand wanted to do an official store opening in the month of Feb. And what an opening it was.
In the lead up to the event, we had the privilege of chatting with Maher AbdelKarim (Executive Manager of aDawliah Electronics) and Ammar Abu Hassoun (Assistant Manager) who we are happy to have now established close ties with in order to work on new music projects together. My second guitar was an FG 720s Yamaha acoustic and I loved it for its larger body and affordable price. Yamaha guitars typically tend to provide a brighter sound and so I was anxious to see what would be on display at the grand opening of the new store. We tried to get there a bit early anticipating a large turn out. Fortunately, by the time we reached, the crowds were only beginning to flock in.
The stage was set up with Yamaha speakers, a Yamaha digital piano, mixers and Soren Andersen’s Yamaha Pacifica electric guitar. It was housed in the middle of Soku street right next to Nestle Tollhouse Cafe and in front of the actual Yamaha Music Square store. We engaged in niceties with some of the good folks around and then Soren Andersen plugged in his guitar and let it rip. The reaction from the crowd was immediate and welcoming. A beautiful vibe created by the sound of a wailing Yamaha electric guitar echoed through the soku walkway and lured more people in.
The atmosphere inside the Grand Avenues was materializing into that of a vibrant music festival with shopping choices all around. A pair of young girls clapped and laughed from the balconies on the first floor, and a Kuwaiti father in a disdasha with a wide smile plastered across his face, moving to the beat with his young son right next to him. When I saw that I couldn’t help but smile myself. It’s a rare feeling – all of us different nationalities, religions, ages and social classes, just letting go and allowing ourselves to enjoy the music. This has gotta be what Kuwait needs right? And how long have we had to wait to see something like this? It was a gratifying feeling.
Watch Soren Andersen Perform at the Grand Avenues
After Soren Andersen completed his first set, the hugely popular Guy Manoukian stepped up and played the piano. Right from the offset, Guy was able to get the crowd clapping with some uplifting rhythmic tunes on the piano. A winner of Best Arabic Tune of the Year for the music of Harem (Lebanon 2002) , Guy is no stranger to fanfare and I love how he used his mastery to bring the crowd to life. It was a great display for Yamaha’s piano manufacturing prowess.
Watch Guy Manoukian Perform
In between all the music and breaks we had the chance to meet with Mr. Toshihiro Yamamoto – Managing Director of Yamaha Middle East and also managed to have a short chat with Soren and Guy after the show. They are remarkably down-to-earth people and to be in the presence of people who have played with the likes of Glenn Hughes from Deep Purple and the winners of Best dance Album at the Arabian Music Awards (Dubai 2003), was truly special to experience.
I leave you with an interesting revelation . During the break, a little mystery girl from the crowd (see pic below) asked the MC whether she could play a song on the Yamaha piano. Was great to see the organizers obliging such a request. The girl wowed us all and played her way into our hearts with her spectacular piano performance. We still don’t know who she is.
2013 is going to be a great year for music in Kuwait.