Taking place in the historic city of Constantine in north-eastern Algeria on 13 to 21 May 2010, Dimajazz is a musical celebration known to attract musicians and music-lovers from far and wide. This will be the eighth edition of Dimajazz, with the venue being the Constantine Theatre. The festival will celebrate the centenary of one of the most noteworthy Jazz musicians – the legendary Gypsy Jazz guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt (1910-1953), who co-founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France, and whose compositions have become Jazz standards worldwide.
Starting off the event, and performing in Algeria for the first time, will be the Orchestre National de Barbès (ONB), directed by Youcef Boukella. Based in the Paris neighborhood of Barbès, the orchestra was founded in 1995 and presents a fascinating blend of music influenced by the origins of the musicians, including Algeria, Morocco, Mali and Senegal. Yousef Boukella arrived in Paris when raï was gaining international recognition, working alongside Cheb Mami and Safy Boutella, and he brings his extensive experience to the ONB. It was decided to name the orchestra after the neighborhood of Barbès because it has proven to be a haven for immigrants, primarily of African origin, which inspired the music that the Orchestre National de Barbès brings to appreciative audiences. The harmony of the group is evident by the fact that they are a self-directed group, devoid of a hierarchy among its members. There is no headliner or star of the show, as each contributes significantly to the appeal of the ONB, while at the same time successfully managing solo careers. The ONB performance is sure to be a highlight of the Dimajazz festival.
While Dimajazz includes international artists on the program, the aim of organizers and associated educational facilities is to develop local talent and give them a platform to showcase their talent. To this end, upcoming artists are given the opportunity to play alongside big names. Since its inaugural event, Dimajazz has established its place in the music festival calendar on a par with many noteworthy international music festivals. Originally a three-night event, Dimajazz now takes place over eight nights, presenting quality musicians and attracting discerning audiences.