PROGRAMME: 2016 Hayy Festival promises a vibrant line up

Ahram Online , Sunday 5 Jun 2016

This year's edition will feature double-bill nights in what marks a shift in the organisation of the now 11-year-old festival

(Photo: fragments from the Hayy Festival's promotional material)

The 11th edition of El-Genaina Company’s annual Hayy Festival is scheduled to start on 12 June and will run until 25 June at the open-air El-Genaina Theatre inside Al-Azhar Park. 

This year’s edition features an array of concerts by regional and international musicians and will mark a shift, “towards a new formula that offers audiences double-bill nights introducing performances from regional and local bands," a press release reads.

"In keeping with El Genaina's aims to support artistic creativity and foster cultural exchange, Hayy Festival 2016 features music that reflects the multi-layered identities of Egyptian and Arab cultural heritage and will include oriental, African, Sufi, and tarab musical performances,” adds the press release. 

Opening this year’s edition will be the renowned Lebanese musician, singer and oud master Charbel Rouhana, who will be accompanied by his band the World Music Ensemble, and the Egyptian oriental music band Karkade, who will perform on 12 June. Founded in December 2015, Karkade's line-up comprises Mohamed Farag (nay), Loutfi Abaza (violin), Medhat Mamdouh (dohol), Hani Bedair (req) and Mohamed Abo Zekry (oud).

The following week, on 18 June, Kel Assouf (Nigeria/Brussels), a five-member Touareg rock band founded in 2006 and whose music “represents nostalgia, eternity and the solitude of the desert through a unique mixture between African rhythms and rock music” will take the stage. Also performing that night will be the Sudanese singer and percussionist Asia Madani. 

France-based percussionist Imed Alibi will perform a concert the following day featuring Tunisian Sufi singer Mounir Troudi. According to the press release, the project “fuses Bedouin musical heritage with Sufi poetry, Berber music, Maghribi folklore, a dose of rock and a hint of electronic music.”

The closing concert, scheduled for 25 June, will feature Tunisian musicologist and singer Dorsaf Hamdani who performs music from the Tunisian and Arabic music heritage repertoires.

The first edition of the Hayy Festival took place during Ramadan 2005, with a diverse line-up of artistic events, including music performances, Sufi chanting concerts, poetry recitals, circus and puppet shows and more, setting the tone for a series of dynamic and evolving editions over the following years.

The annual festival celebrated Ramadan with artistic events that reflect the multi-layered nature of Egyptian cultural heritage, featuring acts from Cairo, the Nile Delta, Upper Egypt and Suez, among others.

Hayy also became an opportunity for regional and international artists to perform a variety of genres, including jazz, rock and classical music for a local audience, effectively expanding the scope of the Egyptian audience's cultural experience.


Sunday 12 June
Charbel Rouhana and the World Music Ensemble
Karkade Band

Saturday 18 June
Kel Assouf
Asia Madani

Sunday 19 June
Imed Alibi, featuring Mounir Troudi

Saturday 25 June
Dorsaf Hamdani

All concerts begin at 9.30 pm
Address: El Genaina Theatre, Al-Azhar Park, Cairo

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