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Cairo Jazz Festival 2016: Five Acts Not to Miss

Cairo Jazz Festival 2016: Five Acts Not to Miss
written by
Dina Mokhtar

This month, Cairo Jazz Festival is bringing the groove back to the grounds of The Greek Campus in Downtown Cairo (as well as Cairo Jazz Club) with a colourful spectrum of musicians from all over the world; from Bahrain, Portugal and Holland to Czech, Germany and even Panama.

Kicking off on Thursday 21stof October and lasting till Saturday 22nd of October, the 8th edition of Cairo Jazz Festival is brimming with more than 15 acts that will jazz up the upcoming weekend.

Until then, here's a glimpse of some of the acts you can’t miss this year:

Alaa Ghawas & Likwid

When? 7:00PM, Thursday 20th of October
Where? Main Stage

It all began in 2011, when singer/songwriter Ala Ghawas joined forces with composer Mohammed Haddad and his band ‘Likwid’ to record his debut LP ‘Armour’. Promoting the album; the partners made a round of gigs in Bahrain and the Gulf region, before recording their latest album ‘Live from Allston’ in 2015. With their incredibly smooth, effortless Indie/folk rock vibes, Alaa Ghawas & Likwid shattered the idea that the Gulf area has nothing but ‘Khaleedji’ music to offer. Check them out in action here.

Also playing on the same stage that day: Cameron Souza & Theo Pascal Trio (9.30PM)

Saori Yano Trio

When? 5:30PM, Friday 21st of October
Where? Main Stage

Straight from the land of the rising sun comes the alto saxophonist Saori Yano with her fast tempo, eccentric bepop sounds. Inspired by jazz legends like Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker, the Japanese musician started her career at the age of 14, before signing with one of the biggest jazz record labels ‘Savoy’ two years later. Saori Yano, who played with giants like Slide Hampton and James moody, will be playing a second gig in Cairo Jazz Club as part of Jazz Beyond the Stage. Listen to here here.

Also playing on the same stage that day:  Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra (8PM), H.O.H (10PM)


When? 10PM, Friday 21st of October
Where? Main Stage

Though this year’s lineup has a bouquet of some of the world’s most unique artists, we still can’t miss one of Egypt’s most popular acts – H.O.H. The front men of three of the most successful bands in Egypt – Hany Adel from Wust El Balad, Ousso Lotfy from Nagham Masry and Hany El Dakkak from Masar Egbari – came together in 2015 for a one-off gig to perform acoustic versions of their bands’ songs. The gig made such a huge impact, that H.O.H became an ongoing project with a long legion of fans. Get to know Egypt's first supergroup here.

Also playing on the same stage that day: Saori Yano Trio (5.30PM), Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra (8PM)

Tara Fuki

When? 6:45PM, Friday 21st of October
Where? The Library

Besides earning two awards from the Czech Academy for Music, Tara Fuki has also made a name for themselves in Europe and Central America. With their mystically haunting vocals, along with their melodies, which comprise a rich blend of different musical flavours, the Czech violoncello duo captured the essence of its East European background, but with a minimal approach.  In addition to taking to the stage at the Greek Campus, Tara Fuki will be performing at Cairo Jazz Club in Jazz Beyond Stage. Listen to their music here.

Also playing on the same stage that day: Jazzinino (12.30PM), Shady El Qaseer Group (4.30PM)

Atom String Quartet

When? 6.45PM, Saturday 22nd of October
Where? The Library, The Greek Campus

Though the fusion of jazz can classical is an ever-present in contemporary music, award-winning group, Atom String Quartet, also draw on the folk music of their native Poland in creating a unique sound. With several albums under their belt, the four-man chamber ensemble also has several awards to their name. Made up of two violinists and violist and a cellist, what seems on the surface to be a simple set-up produces some of the most unique and densely layered music in Europe today.

Also playing on the same stage that day: Noha Fekry & Amro Salah Trio (4.30PM), Jazzical Trio (9PM)

Keep up to date with this year's Cairo Jazz Festival on Facebook.

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