Art Alert: Tunisian musicologist and singer Dorsaf Hamdani to close Cairo's Hayy Festival

Ahram Online , Sunday 19 Jun 2016

This year's edition of the Hayy Festival kickstarted 12 June and featured several musicians from Egypt and the region

Dorsaf Hamdani
(Photo: Fragment from promotional material)

Tunisian musicologist and singer Dorsaf Hamdani will perform at the closing of this year’s Hayy Festival, scheduled for 25 June, at Cairo’s El-Genaina Theatre.

Hamdani is an award-winning musician, having won the Golden Record Award at the Tunisian Song Festival (1996) and having ranked third at the Arabic Music Festival in Jordan (1995).

She performs music from the Tunisian and Arabic music heritage repertoires. 

Hamdani developed a passion for music at an early age, and “thanks to her grandmother, Dorsaf," could obtain "the best of the local singing and oral tradition,” as mentioned on her official Facebook page.

With the assistance of her father, Hamdani went on to practice and study music, graduating with a degree in musicology in 1998 in Tunisia and obtaining an MA from the Sorbonne University in Paris in 2000.

She has performed with established maestros, including Salah Ghoubachi and Selim Sahab, and also in concerts with different orchestras around the world.

Hamdani's upcoming participation in this year's Hayy Festival will mark her third concert in Cairo, having performed at the Arabic Music Festival held at the Cairo Opera House in 1995 and again in 2009. 

This year’s edition of the Ramadan Hayy Festival kickstarted on 12 June with a mesmerising night featuring Lebanese musician, singer and oud master Charbel Rouhana, accompanied by his new band and project, the World Music Ensemble, and the Egyptian oriental music band Karkade.

Hayy is an annual festival that was first founded during Ramadan in 2005, with a diverse lineup of artistic events, including musical 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.

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

"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. 

Saturday, 25 June, 9.30pm

El Genaina Theatre, Al-Azhar Park, Cairo

Check the full programme of the festival here.


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