Conquering Europe: Egypt's renowned tabla player Said El Artist 'excited' about his debut show in Paris

Ati Metwaly , Saturday 29 Jun 2019

Said El Artist performs with his troupe in Paris' Hall de la Chanson (The Hall of Song) on 29 and 30 June

 tabla player Said El Artist

Egypt's internationally renowned tabla (darbouka) player Said El Artist will give two shows in Paris on 29 and 30 June.

Staged at the Hall de la Chanson (The Hall of Song), El Artist is accompanied by a troupe of 12 players including tabla players as well as musicians performing on duff, accordion, rababa, doholla (type of bass tabla).

The performance in Paris is part of the Hall of Song’s series featuring numerous Egyptian musicians in the span of several days.

For El Artist, who has already gained big renown in Egypt and internationally through his unique approach to tabla, this is the first time he is staging his own show in Europe.

"This is a very important step in my career, my first entry to Europe with my own show and a large troupe of musicians," El Artist explains to Ahram Online as together with the whole troupe he heads to Cairo airport to take his flight to Paris.

“Oriental rhythms are very attractive to European ears and listeners are always very responsive.

"I have performed in Paris and in France, as well as in many other European countries, but as a member of a troupe performing with other renowned artists and singers, such as Mohamed Abdo, Shadia, and Sabah. This time I will present my own show on two consecutive evenings in hopes that this will be just the first step in many European adventures."

During the performances, El Artist will present a number of his own compositions.

“Among the works that we will perform are those already known to the Egyptian and international audiences through many recordings that I have released over the past decades. They include numerous solos for rhythm instruments highlighting tabla, such as Maganini, Ehna Shabab, and Mokassarat. But we will also present other compositions – from Egypt's golden agel; Om Kalthoum, Abdel-Halim, etc – that I have arranged for tabla and other instruments, for instance featuring accordion.”

El Artist began his career at the age of 10, when he used to dedicate most of his time to the tabla. As a young man, he used to play at weddings and parties, accompanying well-known Oriental dancers and joining musicians working with renowned singers.

His innovative approach to tabla has attracted the attention of many listeners. He has become among the most sought after tabla players in the region. Whether joining other artists, performing solo or with his troupe, El Artist has appeared on many stages in Egypt and the Middle East.

His performances in France are El Artist’s first official entry to Europe with a troupe of 12 players.

“I am very happy about this opportunity,” El Artist said, adding that he is also grateful that Ines Abdel-Dayem, Egypt’s minister of culture, has supported their trip.

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