Two Egyptian music acts – one modern, one traditional, both focused on female artists – have been invited to the Oslo World Music Festival in Norway to help celebrate Music Freedom Day on 3 March.
Dina El-Wedidi is one of the most successful female independent voices on the current Egyptian music scene. Her music is heard throughout Cairo at her regular concerts, and she is currently part of the Nile Project's African tour, performing with several other Nile Basin musicians. In 2012 she was mentored by iconic Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil as part of The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. They performed together in Cairo in 2013 during the Cairo Jazz Festival.
In the Mazaher ensemble, women play a leading role. The musicians included are Umm Sameh, Umm Hassan and Nour El Sabah, and they represent the last remaining Zar practitioners in Egypt. The ensemble mixes between the different styles of the Zar tradition, where the music unfolds through rich poly-rhythmic drumming and song.
Egypt had a strong role in the 2013 edition of the Oslo Music Festival through contributing local musicians Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca, Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, and Khyam Allami.