8 Concerts Not to Miss in Cairo This Week
September has already been a good month in Cairo in terms of live music and it’s only set to continue this week, thanks to a whole host of different gigs at everywhere from Cairo Opera House, to Cairo Jazz Club – and there’s everything from the gypsy jazz of 1930s Paris, to a certain rebel-rousing Lebanese rock outfit on offer.
The Walk Man Show/Shereen Abdo at Cairo Jazz Club (Tuesday 12th)
(Photo: Cairo Gossip)
Two very different acts are set to perform this Tuesday at Cairo Jazz Club, with the first being a band that is just finding their footing. Led by Mohamed ‘Walkman’ Ali of Salalem fame, The Walk Man Show mix reggae with Egyptian pop and coat it with a layer of jolliness – not a word you’d necessarily use to to describe the night’s second act, Shereen Abdo. There’s a tinge of angst to the immensely talented singer-songwriter that also makes a her magnet on stage as she and her band deliver a sound that is rooted in traditional folk music, but presented in modern arrangements.
Naseer Shamma at El Sawy Culturewheel (Tuesday 12th)
(Photo: Naseer Shama/Facebook)
Some might call Naseer Shamma a musician’s musician – and it’s not difficult to see why. There’s not much that the Iraqi oud ace hasn’t done; aside from performing and recording music, he’s also created music for television, film and theatre, he runs the Arabic Oud House here in Cairo and all the while being a huge supporter of the arts community in the Middle East – he was even named a UNESCO Artist for Peace this year for “recognition of his commitment to support the musical education of young people in Iraq and beyond, his unfailing efforts to promote the message of peace through his performances, and his dedication to the universal ideals and aims of the organisation.” Impressive. Luckily, he has time to swing by El Sawy Culturewheel week.
Abdullah Miniawy & Ahmed Salah at Zigzag (Wednesday 13th)
(Photo: Dario Cincilla/Facebook)
There’s no shortage of Nubian influence in many of Cairo’s bands and musicians. Few, however, have quite shaped that influence in as unique a way as the duo of Abdullah Miniawy and Ahmed Salah, with Miniawy delivering his often controversial lyrics with Sufi singing, to the backdrop of the experimental electronic sounds of Ahmed Salah. It’s usually the case that such thematically shaped elements sound better recorded, but the twosome are as captivating a live act as you’ll find in Cairo today.
The Wanton Bishops at Cairo Jazz Club (Thursday 14th)
(Photo: Carl Halal/Facebook)
It’s all anyone’s been talking about for the last week – but that’s because it’s one of the biggest, if not the biggest concerts of the month. Fronted by the charismatic and bountifully-bearded Nader Mansour, it would be wrong to label The Wanton Bishops simply as a rock band. The Lebanese group’s appreciation for blues has shaped their garage rock sound into something really quite unique – a sound that has led to comparisons to the likes of the Black Keys and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. In layman’s terms, this is one not to miss.
Yehya Khalil at Cairo Opera House (Thursday 14th)
(Photo: Cairo Gossip)
There’s not a lot to be said about Yehya Khalil that hasn’t been said a million times before. The legendary jazz musician is one of the most influential figures in Egyptian music and his particular brand of jazz pulls a range of fans unlike any other act – his music is as at home in a bar full of rowdy people as it is at a concert hall in front of an audience of suits and dresses. Like at Cairo Opera House this Thursday.
The Gypsy Jazz Project at 3elbt Alwan (Friday 15th)
(Photo: The Gypsy Jazz Project/Facebook)
From one kind of jazz to a very different other kind, The Gypsy Jazz Project are on something of a roll. While the group have only been gigging regularly inside of the last year, they’ve quickly built up a unique reputation and have even started to crack that mainstream ceiling through the odd radio appearance. It’s their unique brand of jazz that has propelled them – one inspired not by the more familiar American jazz, but the jazz that emerged in 1930s France through the likes of legendary Belgian guitarist, Django Reinhart.
The Flying Concert at El Genaina Theatre (Saturday 16th)
One of the week’s most interesting concerts comes in the form of an unlikely collaboration. Grammy award-winning musician, Fathy Salama, is set to take to the stage of El Genaina Theatre alongside fifteen students from the music department of the famous Al Darb Al Ahmar Arts School. The concert is the result of an intensive workshop at the school that sought to apply traditional music theory on contemporary music. It should make for an interesting gig and, who knows – maybe some future stars will be on stage.
For more concerts, parties and events across the capital, check out the Cairo 360 events calendar.