Art Alert: Arabic classics in jazzy flavours by Ali Sharaf's Cairo Café at Citadel Festival

Eslam Omar , Tuesday 10 Aug 2021

The event is part of the 29th edition of the Citadel Festival for Music and Songs, which is taking place between 15 and 30 August at the historic Citadel of Salah Al-Din

Ali Sharaf

A selection of evergreen Arabic classics by iconic composers Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, Baligh Hamdi and the Rahbani brothers will be performed in jazzy arrangements by Egyptian composer Ali Sharaf and his newly-formed band ‘Cairo Café’ on 17 August at the historic Citadel of Salah Al-Din, as part of the 29th edition of the Citadel Festival for Music and Songs.

“Our goal with Cairo Cafe is to introduce a joyful atmosphere that recalls all the memories rooted in our hearts and minds,” the band said on social media this week, calling on fans to attend.

Cairo Café’s lineup will feature violinist Rana Haggag as the lead singer, alongside Hazem Abdel-Kader (drums), Ahmed El-Mahdy (guitar), Mohamed El-Ashry (bass guitar), Mostafa El-Saeed (saxophone), Waleed Gabr (trumpet), Ali Shaker (Qanun) and Ayman Sedky (percussions), playing an arrangement by Ali Sharaf (piano).

Long-time composer and arranger for some of the most known Arab singers like Mohamed Fouad, Ali El-Haggar, Medhat Saleh, and Hamada Helal, the ethnomusicology expert Ali Sharaf wrote a number of themes and scores for successful TV series in the past three decades, as well as medley arrangements like his successive works with Fabrika.

Cairo Café’s performance will be followed by another concert by Egyptian pop singer Ahmed Gamal and his band, who will be performing some of his originals as well as some covers of Arabic classics.

Over 30 performances will be staged within the festival, taking place between 15 and 30 August, which is returning after the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All public events in Egypt are being held under strict safety measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Tuesday 17 August at 8pm
Citadel of Salah Al-Din, Cairo


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