The Bibliotheca Alexandrina's Art Center will host two Alexandrian bands, Almena and High Dam, on Saturday, as part of its two-week 18th International Summer Festival.
Almena, who are known for collaborating and experimenting with other musicians from different backgrounds and for taking parts in events and workshops in many countries, are also famous for their no-drum sound. They have played dozens of concerts across Egypt and in Tunisia, Morocco and the UAE.
"We are so excited to meet our beloved fans after months of the coronavirus lockdown. We are preparing many surprises," Almena vocalist and trumpet player Youssef Nour told Ahram Online on Monday.
Founded by Nour and beat-boxer John Sadek in 2015, Almena also include Ahmed Abd Elrasol (bass guitar), Mohamed Affara (lead guitar), Adham El-Habashy (oud) and Omar Aly Abdou (keyboards).
"We will be playing two new songs from our upcoming album, Sahra ("Desert") and Bahr ("Sea") as well, of course; El-Salam ("Peace"), Nas ("People") and Saheb ("Friend")," John Sadek told Ahram Online.
Almena's repertoire consists of social themes that portray the daily life of street youth, with lyrics written either by Nour or poets Ahmed Saad and Moemen Ibrahim.
As their name suggests, High Dam features Nubian influences. They have been playing traditional southern Egyptian and Sudanese music in groovy arrangements since they got together in 2012, but in recent years they have enriched their repertoire with new songs after they took part in workshops with musicians from Central and West Africa that inspired them to appear in folkloric outfits like dashikis.
"Finally we are back. Next Saturday High Dam and our dear friends Almena at Bibliotheca Alexandria Summer festival," said the band on social media, urging their fans to attend.
The band is made up of Hassan Jamaica (vocals), M. R. Booney (lead guitar), Karim Mostafa (vocals, keyboard), Ahmed Remo (bass guitar), Ahmed Khairy (percussion), Mohamed Gomaa (percussion) and Kisho (drums).
The two-week festival, which is operating under strict safety measures in light of the coronavirus pandemic, is dedicated to late Egyptian folk dance icon Mahmoud Reda, who passed away on 10 July at the age of 89.
The festival began on Saturday with an opening performance by Dina El-Wedidi and her band.
The event is set to feature a variety of performances and lectures on different art forms, closing with a performance by popstar Mostafa Amar on 29 August.