Alexandria's cultural highlights of the week: Massar Egbari, Egyptian Project

Ahram Online , Thursday 13 Aug 2015

Bands Massar Egbari and Egyptian Project both perform as part of this year's Bibliotheca Alexandrina Summer Festival

Egyptian Project, Massar Egbari
Egyptian Project (Photo: Band's official Facebook page) (L), Massar Egbari (Photo: Band's official Facebook page) (R)

Massar Egbari and Egyptian Project are scheduled to deliver concerts at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina on 16 and 18 August, respectively.

Massar Egbari, formed in 2005, has carved a place for itself in Egypt’s music scene. With their signature style of oriental Arabic rock tunes fused with jazz and Western sounds, the band is still thriving 10 years later.

The band has an impressive record of success in Egypt and many appearances outside the country, the band recently held a performance in The Mix, a concert held at the closing of London's Shubbak music programme which marked Massar Egbari's second performance in London since their debut at Shubbak’s 2013 festival.

Massar Egbari's lineup includes Ayman Massoud on keyboards, Hani El-Dakkak on guitar and lead vocals, Ahmed Hafez playing bass, Tamer Attallah on the drums, and guitarist Mahmoud Siam, who joined the band in 2008.

The Egyptian Project is the product of ongoing coordination between three performers of Egyptian traditional music and two French musicians. It combines the tunes of Cairo and Lower Egypt's Delta region fused with western trip hop, electro hop and classic music.

Its first album, Ya Amar, (Oh, the Moon) was produced in 2012 and was followed by a tour in France and Europe during the summer of the same year.

Jerome Ettenger is the mastermind behind the Egyptian Project idea. The Egyptian musicians in the band are Ragab Sadek, Sayed Imam, and Salama Metwally, who were all members of El-Nil band for folk arts under the leadership of Abdel Rahman El-Shafei.

Together, with the other French musician in the band Anthony, Ettenger has attempted to revive Egyptian folkloric, religious, Sufi, and oriental artistic heritage and combine it with a western pattern.

The concerts are part of this year’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina International Summer Festival, which opened on 20 July and runs until 4 September.

The largest of its kind in the Mediterranean city, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina International Summer Festival began in 2002.

This year, the five-week festival includes a line-up of 38 events and will feature local and international music, films, and performances of dance, theatre, and folkloric arts. 

Concert: Massar Egbari
Sunday 16 August at 8:30pm
Bibliotheca Alexandria, Alexandria

Concert: Egyptian Project 
Tuesday 18 August at 8:30pm
Open Air Theatre, Bibliotheca Alexandria, Alexandria

See the full programme here.

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