The Afif brothers, Rony and Elie, have been the mainstay of the local jazz scene for years. I went to check them out at the regular Friday night haunt, Blue Bar at the WTC Novotel.
Blue Bar does not always stick to genres the name would suggest; it is quite blue, though. They have artists playing various pop and rock genres on other days of the weekend; to be fair, some of these are quite good with what they do play. And there are the obstructive thick pillars flanking the front of the stage, and the people socializing while the band plays. However, with the Afifs playing here on Friday nights, and some occasional weekday jazz-ish special events, Blue Bar remains one of the few places one can really go to for jazz in this city.
The Afifs also remain standard bearers of classic Western jazz in the country, and the only ones of which I know. Supported on the saxophone by band regular Jino Kim and on the keys by Samvel Gasparyan, Elie Afif on the double bass and Rony Afif on the drums played a great jazz night as usual, with peppy solos and good overall harmony.
That night featured a special combination, as the quartet jammed with guitarist Max Itani for part of the show. I took this picture at what looks like a particularly dramatic moment, but this is what it generally looks like.