On Friday, 10 March, The Rad Trads from the United States and Boghdady Big Band from Egypt gave the first concert of the Jazz Tales Festival, at the American University in Cairo's Ewart Hall, running between 7 March and 1 April, in Cairo and Alexandria.
The concert came after two days of jazz workshops both bands gave in Cairo.
The event opened with the performance of The Rad Trads, winning instant enthusiasm from the audience. The six musicians, all professional jazzists who founded the band in 2012, played several of their original tracks, continuously heating up listeners. When the musicians stepped down to the audience, the hall exploded in additional fervor.
In an interview given to Carol Banks Weber for AXS publication, The Rad Trad's trumpeter Michael Fatum explained that "The Rad Trads as a band are rooted in the joy, love, and experience of our live performance. We love breaking down barriers and sharing music with people in person, which has led us to perform for as many people in as many different settings as possible."
And, indeed, Ewart Hall's audience was the target of a lot of fun coming from the band, extended to the second half of the evening when Egypt's Boghdady Big Band took to the stage.
Boghdady leads his Big Band. Ewart hall, 10 March 2017. (Photo: Ati Metwaly)
Founded by Magdy Boghdady, the Egyptian big band is well known to the local scene with regular performances at the Cairo Opera House and numerous other venues.
Their adrenaline-packed repertoire of many arrangements of well-known known jazz covers heated up already enthusiastic listeners who continued to dance on the hall's side aisles.
The concert ended with a long improvised track performed together by both bands, with the audience clapping heavily, cheering and dancing.
The Jazz Tales Festival is organised by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina's Arts Centre with its Cairo segment hosted by the American University.
Organised in cooperation with the American Consulate in Alexandria, the festival continues with several workshops and concerts until 1 April.
All events are open to audiences, musicians and jazz lovers for free.
The Rad Trads and Boghdady Big Band will give one more concert, in Alexandria, on 11 March.
Check the festival's complete programme here
The Rad Trads at Ewart hall, Cairo, 10 March 2017 (Photo: Ati Metwaly)
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