Cairo Jazz Festival kicks off

Originated within the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, within the late 19th and early 20th centuries, jazz music has unfold its affect across the globe. Today, in Egypt, the variety of Egyptian jazz musicians is steadily rising.

The previous decade has witnessed the emergence of many jazz bands in Egypt, resembling Cairokee, Massar Egbari, El Dor El Awal and Cairo Steps. These bands have achieved nice success and took part in lots of worldwide festivals and occasions.

Jazz music in Egypt is normally linked to the title of Yehia Khalil, who is taken into account certainly one of Egypt’s jazz pioneers and who invented “oriental jazz.” 

“Jazz is different than any other music genre; it reaches directly to the soul,” Khalil instructed Al-Monitor.

In 1965, Khalil left for the United States to review jazz. Fifteen years later, in 1979, he determined to take what he had realized and move again to Egypt. 

After introducing jazz to the Egyptian music scene, via a sequence of live shows on the Cairo Opera House and cultural facilities, jazz music gained reputation in Egypt.

Khalil began mixing oriental music and jazz, creating a novel fusion that was admired by the lots in Egypt and in addition overseas. 

“The audience loves it when I put this unique spin on old folkloric songs from Umm Kalthoum and Wadea El Safi and others,” Khalil famous.

In 2009, Egyptian pianist, composer and producer Amr Salah based the Cairo Jazz Festival (CJF). The annual occasion celebrates jazz music in Egypt and cultural change, with musicians and artists from all around the world.

For 9 days beginning Oct. 28, jazz music followers will benefit from the 13th version of the Cairo Jazz Festival that can happen on the American University’s Tahrir Campus, in downtown Cairo. 

“The Cairo Jazz Festival aims to spread jazz and helps it reach more people — not only as a music genre, but as a life experience with its ideas, freedom of expression and innovation,” Salah instructed Al-Monitor.

He stated, “Jazz music is different from other music genres for its improvisation state that excites both musicians and the audience.”

The 13th version of the pageant will characteristic distinguished Egyptian musicians, together with El Dor El Awal, Mohamed Abo Zekry Project, Samer George Quartet, Tarek Raouf Ensemble and Bahaa El-Dahabi Quintet, Otaak Band and Soul Trains.

The better of the world’s jazz musicians will play at this yr’s pageant — 20 bands and 95 musicians from the United States, Germany, Austria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sudan, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Denmark and Egypt. 

The present version additionally witnesses the return of cultural cooperation between the pageant and the United States, because it hosts for the primary time three American bands: ICX Jazz Ensemble and the AJOYO group, along with American artist of Egyptian origin Ayman Fanous, who will play with the well-known American cellist Frances-Marie Uitti.

The pageant just isn’t restricted to musical performances; plenty of totally different occasions resembling workshops, exhibitions and documentaries have been organized in an effort to enrich the Egyptian cultural scene and enhance the societal consciousness of music normally. 

“The festival organizes photography exhibitions, reviews the history of jazz and presents a special lecture on the history of jazz in international diplomacy, presented by James Ketterer, dean of the College of Continuing Education at the American University,” Salah stated.

The CJF repeats its annual custom in cooperation with the Bandmakers Music Academy, which presents a jazz program for the youth, titled Jazzinino. The youth program goals to introduce kids and youth to jazz music by interacting with artists throughout workshops and group taking part in.

Jazzinino offers a possibility to current younger musical expertise to the general public. 

As a part of its endeavor to unfold the tradition of jazz music and current it to the Egyptian public on a big scale, the pageant will display two documentaries. The first movie is in regards to the lifetime of well-known American pianist Dave Brubeck, one of many pioneers of jazz music. The second movie critiques the tales of the wrestle and struggling of 4 of essentially the most well-known American jazz singers throughout their careers, and the racism they have been subjected to of their lives.

“This year we will hold concerts in many places that never hosted jazz performances before, such as the governorates of Kafr El-Sheikh, Qena and Menyia,” Salah stated. 

He added, “CJF allows jazz to cross borders and transcend its origin. Jazz is a fusion of human experiences that has always absorbed other cultures and ideas, artists, art projects and music styles.”

US jazz musician Miguel Merino instructed Al-Monitor, “I’m so excited to attend a few of the workshops that shall be held throughout the pageant. I’m additionally interested by attending the free improvisation by musician Ayman Fanous and several other different performances.”

He said, “I’ll carry out twice — on the pageant’s opening with Egyptian jazz singer Noha Fekry, and on the ultimate day, Nov. 5, I shall be taking part in folkloric songs on the semsemya [stringed instrument] and hand drums with my very own band Otaak.”

Shaimaa Ismail, a fashion designer, told Al-Monitor, “I can’t wait for the festival to start. This event is exceptional for anyone who enjoys music from all over the world. It provides a chance to attend performances from different cultural backgrounds.”