Today we have bands like The Cairo Big Band Society and Cairo Gents who are taking over the jazz scene in Egypt. But have you ever thought about how things were in the music community back when your parents were still hitting their version of The Tap or Cairo Jazz Club? What a lot of people don’t know is that many local talents were forming bands way before ROOM Art Space had their open talent nights.
Among the widely known musicians like Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald, Egypt also had its share of jazz legends who brought these international tunes to their hometown. In honour of their talent and dedication to the genre, the Cairo Jazz Festival is hosting a special exhibition titled Legendary Egyptian Bands to document the history of bands that shaped the music community and had a considerable effect on how it is today.
The exhibition aims to highlight the influence that cover bands from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s had on the generations that followed. By giving credit where credit’s due, the exhibition showcases the social and musical outcome that was never recorded or attributed to the efforts made by these band members. Contrary to common belief, a lot of distinguished jazz performers were from El-Mahalla El-Kubra and other governorates, not just Cairo and Alexandria. We all owe it to them for bringing the international beats to their hometown and helping keep music culture in Egypt always up-to-date.
Starting from the 28th of October, the exhibition will welcome visitors to the Margo Veillon Gallery. Located inside the Tahrir Cultural Center (the American University building in Tahrir Square), the collection will spread music history awareness until the festival ends.