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JAM Project creates a Saudi first at Anime Village in Jeddah


JEDDAH: JAM Project has made history with its debut in Saudi Arabia, becoming the first Japanese band to hold a concert in the Kingdom.

The performance was part of the activities and special performances held at the Anime Village zone at City Walk in Jeddah on Friday.

JAM Project is an anime music genre band that is famous for singing the theme tracks of many anime series and movies, including “Garbo,” “Cardfight!,” “Cyborg 009,” and the worldwide acclaimed “Yu Gi Oh!” as well as “One Piece” and “One Punch Man.”

From left to right (Yoshiki Fukuyama, Hironobu Kageyama, Masami Okui, Masaaki Endoh.)

The group performed a variety of anime theme songs that rang throughout the village. One Punch Man’s “The Hero!!,” Crush Gear’s “Crush Gear Fight!!,” One Piece’s “We Are,” and Dragon Ball z’s “Cha-la Head Cha-la” were among the songs performed.

Waad Al-Harbi, a 24-year-old fan, said that she had known JAM Project through “One Piece,” the wildly loved anime. “Attending JAM Project’s concert with nothing between us but a fence and listening to my favorite song live is a dream come true,” she said.

“The band was introduced to me through “One Punch Man,” said Feras Bukhari, 28. “The concert was full of energy and great vibes, and I really enjoyed all the performances.”

Hundreds of fans came to see JAM Project's first concert in the Kindom on Friday.

JAM stands for “Japanese Animation Maker,” and the group was founded on July 19, 2000, by Ichirou Mizuki, a famous Japanese theme-song artist. The band is composed of solo singers who come together to perform the theme songs.

Following the concert, Mamasmi Okui shared on Twitter a photo taken with the fans and wrote a caption thanking “everyone in Saudi Arabia, local staff & Japanese staff, and everyone who supported us from Japan.”

On Saturday, the band went sightseeing in historical Jeddah. Okui, the only female in the group, wore a navy abaya and covered her hair like a Saudi woman. “It was a nice cityscape,” she wrote.

The Japanese band JAM Project debuted on stage in Saudi Arabia on May 27.

The rest of the group and the sound director Naoya Yamamoto posted a photo of themselves wearing a thawb on Yamamoto’s Twitter. “Before returning from Saudi Arabia, we went sightseeing in the old town, wore a thawb, and had a photo session with everyone . . . lol,” read the tweet.

JAM Project originally had nine members in the band, including the founder Mizuki, but he, Eizo Sakamoto and Rica Matsumoto left the group years ago. While Ricardo Cruz is a semi-regular member, Hironobu Kageyama, Masaaki Endoh, Hiroshi Kitadani, Masami Okui and Yoshiki Fukuyama are the remaining members.

JAM stands for “Japanese Animation Maker,” and the group was founded on July 19, 2000, by Ichirou Mizuki, a famous Japanese theme-song artist. (Supplied)

The City Walk zone of the Jeddah Season is open with nine villages to suit all tastes and age groups: The Entry Village, Food Hall, Fashion Village, Splash, Horror Village, Jeddah Live, Adventure, Waterfall and the Anime Village.

Held under the slogan “Our Lovely Days,” the second Jeddah Season follows on from the success of Riyadh Season, which recorded more than 15 million visits over five months.

The annual Jeddah Season festival aims to highlight the city’s rich heritage and culture through a total of 2,800 activities in nine zones over the event period.

The festival season offers 70 interactive experiences, more than 60 recreational activities, seven Arab and two international plays, marine events, a circus, four international exhibitions and a host of other services for families.

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