Cairo Jazz festival lights up city

Farah Montasser, Wednesday 16 Mar 2011

Cairo nights are going to be lit up 'with all that jazz' as the 'city that never sleeps' hosts its own jazz festival, the Cairo Jazz Festival 2011

And all that Jazz!

Marking its third annual year, the international Cairo Jazz Festival 2011 will be inaugurated on Thursday 17th March 2011 at El Sawy Culturewheel.

As life is getting back to normal in Egypt, Cairo opens its doors to the international Cairo Jazz Festival (CJF) for a third consecutive year. “Indeed it is a critical time in Egypt, but we have managed to start the festival on time,” said renowned Egyptian musician Amro Salah, the director of this year’s CJF and the founder of AGWA Productions in 2009, the official organiser of the festival. 

“At first, with the situation in Egypt we thought about postponing this event but as the atmosphere has calmed down, we stood by the original timing of the festival in March, as in previous years,” Salah explains.

For three days only, starting Thursday 17th March through to the 19th March, CJF invites all jazz music fans to witness the growth of the festival over the past few years.

This international festival has gained a reputation around the world. “This year, we have attracted nine countries to participate in this joyous celebration, some of who are joining for the very first time,” states Salah.

Among the nine participating countries in the event are bands from the USA, Holland, Germany, Spain, Austria, Slovenia, Australia and Japan, as well as some of the most popular and talented Egyptian bands like Cocoon, Eftekasat, the Percussion show, the Amro Salah Jazz Trio and the Ramy Atalla Quintet.

Making this year even more special is the participation of some of the world’s best jazz artists, including legendary guitarist Kazumi Watanabe and the German Women Jazz Orchestra. A very broad variety of artists will create a magical atmosphere through jazz music, crossing cultural barriers within Egyptian society, while encouraging and improving musical education for children and families.

In light of this year’s significant change in the political scene in Egypt, the revolution, CJF is dedicated to paying a special tribute to the Egyptian martyrs of the revolution. Though Salah didn’t talk about what exactly will take place during the festival, he promises that CJF will contribute. “It is a matter of respect to the martyrs especially at this time, so definitely we will pay tribute,” he declares.

Amro Salah also confirmed that CJF will occupy the entire premises at El Sawy Culturewheel, unlike previous years when the festival was only held in one hall. “We have had more than 7,000 attendees of local Egyptians and foreigners to celebrate jazz in the past two years. This year, we aim to do more by opening up all of the El Sawy Culturewheel halls for international jazz concerts,” Salah states.

In line with the jazz concerts, this year CJF is offering young jazz musicians several workshops and master classes, under the auspices of the Jazz Society of Egypt, to help promote growth and the constant evolution of jazz, cultivating people’s minds and knowledge.

An ongoing success, CJF 2011 is a collective of shared passion and outstanding performances by top jazz musicians from around the world. So tune it to all that jazz!

For further information about the Cairo Jazz Festival 2011 (CJF), please visit:

And all that Jazz!
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