Recently I enjoyed the great pleasure of seeing the live saxophone band with the Sudanese sax player Aiman Nour, playing at the Riyadh Four Seasons Hotel Grill Bar. This is a fabulous location in the Kingdom Tower, with the luxurious open-air Grill Bar providing the finest meat. Aiman is a great sax player bringing feeling and emotion to his music. Here are my photos and my interview with Aiman. I shall be seeing his performances many times this year.
Aiman Nour, please tell us where you are originally from ?
I am from Sudan exactly from the central province, a lovely city located in the south of the central province called Kosti which lies on the west side of the Nile and it is really an amazing place, a place full of fun and kindness. The people there are very simple, very humble, they make you feel like someone special when they warmly welcome you.
Where we can hear your music in the near future?
I am playing now at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Riyadh Kingdom Tower and I made a contract with them for one year so I will be playing there many times.
Where did you begin to study the Saxophone?
I began my music career a long time ago, around 18 years. I played the Flute first and after a while, I started to play the Saxophone, let’s say 9 years ago.
Do you have a favourite saxophonist?
My favourite saxophone player is not very popular I think, but he is very talented, he is from Canada, his name is Warren Hill, and I have a friend of mine, also he is one of my favoured his name Mahmoud Mustafa, a Sudanese Saxophonist.
Do you usually play solo or with a group?
I like to play in both ways, as a solo artist or with other musicians, although with other musicians I need more practice with the group for finding harmony together and it needs lots of effort and many workshops.
What about Jazz bands in Riyadh, do you know any?
In Riyadh, there are now so many musicians and bands starting to show in the last 2 years because of the Kingdom’s opening policy, and actually, I know most of them.
What is your favourite place in Riyadh to play?
For me, the best places to play in Riyadh are the big events like the Entertainment Committee events in Universities and open areas where I can find more audiences and more followers. I also love to play at the Four Seasons Hotel where we find a better audience which knows about jazz and western music.
Are you going to play internationally or more in Riyadh and KSA generally?
It is a dream for me to play my music internationally and I have to pursue it, and I hope one day I can go for it.
On which kind of Saxophone do you play and why did you choose it?
They are so many kinds of Saxophone. As you may know, there is a Soprano Sax which is the smallest of the saxes, and the Alto which is a little bigger, and my favourite, which is the Tenor, a little bigger than the Alto. I like it because of how it sounds. The tones make it a very fascinating instrument which takes you far far away from this world. There are several more, the Baritone sax and the Bass series of saxes which are much bigger but no one is playing them unless in a big orchestra.
How do you see the music industry across the Kingdom?
The music industry in the Kingdom is growing but growing slowly it needs more time and effort to expand, for example, it should be in school tuition otherwise it will need decades to grow.
Where is your Dream Location to give a concert?
There are so many places that I dream to play, such as the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh, the Royal Court, Diplomatic Quarter where I played twice at the Italian Embassy, generally every place matters to me. The most important is to play perfectly and to give the audience always the best concert we can.