Astana Opera Hosts Jazz Concert of Rising French Star

ASTANA—The Astana Opera hosted a jazz concert on April 16 featuring rising French talent Gabi Hartmann, accompanied by an ensemble of French musicians. 

Gabi Hartmann singing at the Astana Opera. Photo credit: French Embassy

The event was part of the Francophonie Spring Festival, organized with support from the French Embassy in Kazakhstan.

Gabi Hartmann, a Parisian singer, songwriter, composer and guitarist, has been topping the French charts since the debut of her first album in 2023. 

The audience enjoyed a blend of chanson, jazz, and folk, infused with elements of improvisation, delivered in French, English, Portuguese, and Arabic. Hartmann was accompanied by musicians she met during her travels, including Elaine Beaumont on double bass, Bruno Marmey on drums, and Florian Robin on piano. 

Gabi Hartmann’s concert at the Astana Opera on April 16. Photo credit: French Embassy

Hartmann’s concert at the Kulyash Baiseitova Chamber Hall in the Astana Opera marked her debut in Central Asia. 

During her time in Astana, Hartmann had the chance to meet students from Alliance Français who introduced her to talents such as Kazakh kobyz (traditional Kazakh musical instrument) player Raushan Orazbayeva and renowned Kazakh singer Dimash Kudaibergen, conveying her enthusiasm for their music and desire to learn more.

She also expressed her excitement about collaborating with Kazakh musicians from a symphonic orchestra in Almaty, viewing it as an opportunity to blend her music with traditional Kazakh melodies. 

Gabi Hartmann meeting press in Astana. Photo credit: The Astana Times

“Sharing culture is very important because art is a way to discover cultures that wouldn’t cross otherwise,” said Hartmann.  

The concert served as the finale of the Francophonie Spring 2024 Festival program in Astana, with further events scheduled in Almaty and Karagandy until April 21. 

According to Alex Bortolan, advisor for cultural cooperation at the French embassy in Kazakhstan, this year, the festival expanded geographical coverage, resulting in increased engagement. Events usually took place in cities with Alliance Française branches such as Astana, Almaty, Karagandy and Shymkent.

“For example, we had a photo exhibition in Atyrau with the YEMAA cultural center and a French movie festival in Ust-Kamenogorsk. The positive response surprised us and emphasized the need for similar events in all cities of Kazakhstan in the future,” said Bortolan.

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