More than 25 jazz bands from over 10 countries are flocking to Cairo as the Cairo Jazz Festival kicks off a challenging eight-day edition on Friday.
Festival activities will be held in various venues in Cairo, including the American University in Cairo's (AUC) Tahrir Campus as the venue of the opening.
With performances from Switzerland, Denmark, Chile, Croatia, the Netherlands, Romania and many Arab countries, the festival, sponsored by the European Union and other local and international entities, is scheduling a number of workshops, exhibitions, seminars and open-mic events with many artists giving their first performances in the year of the coronavirus.
In the opening, Egyptian Grammy-winning music producer Fathy Salama and members of his band Sharkiat will feature Islamic Sufi chanter Mahmoud El-Tohamy and a number of his musicians in a Sufism vs Modernism concert at the Garden stage.
Earlier on Friday, Sara Moullablad Quartet (Morocco-Egypt) will perform on the same stage, while Ewart Hall will be hosting Campos/Cuturrufo/Greene Trio (Chile) and the Cairo Big band.
The arsenal of known and acclaimed musicians taking part in the various nights of the festival include Ahmed Nazmi group, Mai Kamal, Alex Simu, Los Compadres ft. Cristian Cuturrufo (Chile), Telepoetic, Hesham Galal Trio with Amena El Abd, Rami Attallah Trio feat. Sara Moullablad, Samer George, Ali El Helbawi feat. Alex Simu (EG/RO/NL), Eswed w Abyad, Elina Duni Trio (Switzerland), Claudia Campagnol (Denmark), Portuguese Ricardo Formoso Quintet, Elvis Stanic with Noha Fekry and Amro Salah Trio (Croatia/Egypt) and Eftekasat feat. Alex Simu (Romania), who are performing on the closing day.
Some performances will be hosted at the Cairo Jazz Club, Room Art Space and Darb 1718.
For the fourth year in a row, the festival will host Bandmakersin's launching of Jazzinino Programme "where kids get a chance to perform in public or participate in open-mic jam sessions and workshops" on the opening day at the Fountain Stage.
The festival is also hosting multi-awarded film composer Alex Simu (The Netherlands/Romania) in a masterclass entitled Music and Motion Picture.
Founded by Egyptian known musician Amro Salah in 2009 to promote Jazz music in Egypt, the festival has hosted prestigious artists from across the globe throughout the years, including Gilberto Gil, Ziad Rahbani, Carles Benavent, Kazumi Watanabe, and Han Bennink.
Egypt resumed public cultural activities in July following the COVID-19 lockdown, with all events held under strict measures that include social distancing, obligatory face masks, and sanitising. However, this week saw concerns over the noticeable increase in recorded cases in the artistic community.
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