In these pages you will hopefully find interesting tips on how to take advantage of Cairo's many cultural opportunities, with particular attention to live events. Cairo Live Events Guide does not pretend to be exhaustive but will try to cover main events open to the public.

This is a private, independent, nonprofit endeavour. This blog was started in August 2008 by Cairowanderer who has been running it solo up to May 2011. Since then Cairene Beat contributes as well to the blog. If you have any comment, tip, or information you think might be relevant for the blog, please write to cairowanderer@gmail.com or cairenebeat@gmail.com.

Read about Cairo Live Events Guide on The Daily News Egypt

Thursday, December 18, 2008

C.L.E.G. ON HOLIDAY

C.L.E.G. will be on holiday as from today Friday December 19 and no updates will appear until the second week of January.
You can access the latest weekly agenda covering events up to Friday, December 26 by scrolling down to next post. To search for events during the period not covered you can browse the websites listed in the USEFUL LINKS section.

Whether you celebrate this time of the year or not, I wish you a great time and a wonderful 2009.

AGENDA MUSIC DEC.20 - DEC. 26

Saturday, December 20, 2008

- Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nader Abbasi with soloist singers Iman Moustafa, Christine Knorren, Tamer Tawfiq, Reda El Wakil & the A Cappella Choir (Choir Master Maya Gvineira) will perform Giuseppe Verdi’s “Messa da Requiem” in the Main Hall of Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- Nagham Masry at the Cairo Jazz Club 9:30 PM

- Christmas Concert with Soprano Gala El-Hadidi in the Small Hall of Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- Al-Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at the Ghouri Caravansaray 8:30 PM

- Nour Emam Jazz music concert in the Wisdom Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre 6:00 PM


Sunday, December 21, 2008

- El Tanbura Group from Port Said in the River Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre 8:30 PM

- Sherif Mustafa (guitar) at the Cairo Jazz Club 10:00 PM

- Bashir at After 8 10:00 PM

- El-Nil Troupe for folk instruments (Folk music and songs) at Beit Al-Suheimi 8:00 PM

- National Arab Music Ensemble conducted by Selim Sahab at the Arab Music Institute (10, Aisha al-Taimouriah St.-Garden City) 8:00 PM


Monday, December 22, 2008

- Piano Recital by pianists Mariam El Mamlouk and Sherif Salah El Din at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM

- The Riff Band at the Cairo Jazz Club 10:00 PM

- Wust El Balad at After 8 10:00 PM

- Christmas Concert with Soprano Neveen Allouba in the Small Hall of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

- Nass Makan (Nubian music, Zikr and Sufi songs, Sudanese music and songs) at the Makan Centre 9:00 PM

- Sahra at the Cairo Jazz Club 10:00 PM

- Ressala Band (contemporary Egyptian music) celebrates Christmas at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM

- Mohamed Rashad accompanied by Mezmar sings folk songs from Upper Egypt at the River Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre 8:30 PM


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

- Mazaher Ensemble (Music of the Delta) at the Makan Centre 9:00 PM

- Eli El-Haggar presents classical arabic songs in the River Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre 9:00 PM

- Al-Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at the Ghouri Caravansaray 8:30 PM


Thursday, December 25, 2008

- National Arab Music Ensemble conducted by Selim Sahab at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM

- Harp Recital by Mona Wassef in the Small Hall of Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- The Cairo Ballet Company choreographed by Abdel Moniem Kamel and Cairo Opera Orchestra conducted by Nader Abbasi present Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” Ballet in the Main Hall of Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM (runs until Tuesday, December 30)

- Sharara Sextet conducted by Attiy Sharara presents a repertoire of classical Arab music at the Ghouri Caravansaray 8:00 PM

- The Philarmonic String Quartet will perform works from Beethoven, Abdel-Wahab and Schubert at the Palace of Arts (Cairo Opera House grounds) 8:00 PM

- Amer El Toni’s Al-Mawlaweya Al-Masreya Troupe at Beit al Soheimi 8:00 PM

- Ashraf Habashi and the Jazz Caterers at the Cairo Jazz Club 10:00 PM

- Sahra at After 8 10:00 PM

- Ressala Band (contemporary Egyptian music) celebrates Christmas in the River Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre 8:00 PM

- Hossam Samir present a selection of Fari Al-Atrash best songs in the River Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre 8:30 PM


Friday, December 26, 2008

- The Cairo Ballet Company choreographed by Abdel Moniem Kamel and Cairo Opera Orchestra conducted by Nader Abbasi present Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” Ballet in the Main Hall of Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM (runs until Tuesday, December 30)

- Skindeep at After 8 10:00 PM

- Rafaat Yossri in concert at Beit Al-Harrawi 8:00 PM

- Amr Abdel Moneim and Awtar Ensemble (Arabic music) in the Open Air Theatre of Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- Arab Takht Ensemble led by Yasser Moawad at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM

11th INTERNATIONAL CAIRO BIENNALE

Set up in 1984 as a state-sponsored event for artists from Arab-speaking countries only, the Cairo Biennale opened its doors to foreign contributions in its fifth edition and has had since then a steady inflow of European and American artists. The Biennale helped to launch the careers of many local artists and brought to Cairo works from Gio Pomodoro, Nancy Spero and Claude Viallat among others.
According to many, the Biennale had his ups and downs and might have to work hard if it wants to compete with other exhibitions of the kind and continue to be attractive for international and local artists who find it easier now, through the myriad of local art gallery and the web generated cultural exchange, to bring their works to the public and make a name for themselves. I am not in a position to judge because I am no art critic and have not lived here enough to compare different editions. There is surely a public for the Biennale in Cairo and it is out of doubt that an event of this kind brings lustre to the city. Hopefully this edition will honour the expectations.

The official opening of the Biennale will take place on Saturday, December 20 at 12:00 AM at the Palace of Arts in the Opera House Grounds. the exhibitions will run until Friday February 20, 2009. Some works have already been inaugurated like the "No. 1 Sun Engine" project of the Swiss artists Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller that was officially opened on December 15. Sadly the official website of the Biennale does not provide to date the list of artists nor the venues and program of events (and this is admittedly not very promising). I was provided with information about few projects (American, Swiss and Italian) and I list the links below. For the rest, I suggest you check the Biennale website in a few days, scan the web, or try get information at the Opera Grounds.

http://cairo2008.makcenter.org/
http://www.sun1913.info/
http://www.iiccairo.esteri.it/IIC_IlCairo/webform/SchedaEvento.aspx?id=132 (in Italian)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

PhotoCairo4: The Long Shortcut

"The Long Shortcut, is a large-scale visual art project that explores the dynamics between informal and official modes of operation that continues to shape the social reality in this region and beyond"

This is the opening paragraph of the Press Release for PhotoCairo4 and I am a bit at a loss at understanding what they exactly mean. There must be something beyond the circumlocutions and I feel that the best thing to do is to provide you with a series of links to specific pages where you can get information in detail and the program of this undoubtedly interesting series of exhibitions and symposium that will take place at various venues in Cairo between today Wednesday, December 17 2008 and Wednesday, January 14 2009


PhotoCairo4 Website
Contemporary Image Collective
Townhouse Gallery
Hungarian Cultural Centre
Pro Helvetia Cairo

Go, explore and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

SPANISH NIGHTS at the Cairo Opera House

Tonight Tuesday, December 16 and tomorrow Wednesday, December 17 2008 the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House will host the Danzarte Ballet of Laura Hormigón and Oscar Torrado.
Their show Noche española will feature elements from the Bolero School, Classical Ballet and Spanish Classical Dance. In the program are Goyescas, scenes from Carmen, the suite from El sombrero de tres picos and Don Quijote. Stars of the show will be the dancers Francisco Velasco and Penélope Sanchez.

Monday, December 15, 2008

NOKIA XPRESSMUSIC FESTIVAL

Some of the best Egyptian Bands, including Wust El Balad, Nagham Masry, Screwdriver and Sahra will perform alongside local DJ's and unspecified guests from the UK at the Nokia Xpressmusic Festival that will be held Friday, December 19 starting 3:00 PM in the Chinese Garden of Cairo International Conference Centre.
This is surely a good opportunity to have an insight into the young local music movement. The somehow bizarre way of acquiring ticket for the show is the same as for the SOS Music Festival (and the organizer is the same). The show is free but you have to get a ticket to get in, ticket that you can obtain by replying (be smart, ... this looks to me like a profile screening) to a questionnaire that you find online here.

You can get a full list of the performers and some more clues at the way the ticket process works by clicking here

Sunday, December 14, 2008

CINEMA

The French Cultural Centre in Mounira continues his excellent film offering with the award-winning "S21, La Machine de Mort Khmere Rouge" a movie by Rithy Pahn about the appaling human rights violations occurred during the Pol Pot regime. The movie, in original language with French subtitles, will be screened today Sunday, December 14 at 8:30 PM. Free entry

The Italian Film Forum at AUC is also continuing his "The Italian Style Comedy" season with the movie "Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'Agosto" (Swept Away) by Lina Wertmüller. The movie will be shown at the AUC Tahrir Campus - Hill House Room 403 tomorrow Monday, December 15 at 7:00 PM. The film is in Italian language with English subtitles. Free Entry

Thursday, December 11, 2008

AGENDA MUSIC DEC.13 - DEC.19

Saturday, December 13, 2008

- Christmas Concert by Soloists of the Cairo Opera Company with Cairo Celebration Choir & the Chamber Singers from Cairo American College conducted by Nayer Nagui in the Main Hall of Cairo Opera House 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM

- El Dor El Awal at the Cairo Jazz Club 10:00 PM

- Ingy Nabaleeh Qanun (Zither) Recital in the Wisdom Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre 8:00 PM

- Al-Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at the Ghouri Caravansaray 8:30 PM


Sunday, December 14, 2008

- Piano Recital by Yuan Sheng (China) at the Manasterly Palace 8:00 PM

- Tête-à-Tête with Amr Salah (Eftekasat) and double bass player Andre Segone with friends; an evening of Latin Jazz and Funk in the Wisdom Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 8:00 PM.

- Bashir at After 8 10:00 PM

- The Nubian Drums Troupe at the Ghouri Palace 8:00 PM

- El-Nil Troupe for folk instruments (Folk music and songs) at Beit Al-Suheimi 8:00 PM

- Sherif Mustafa Guitar Concert (New Age) at the Ghouri Caravansaray 8:00 PM

- Rock Concert by Deadlock in the River Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre 8:30 PM


Monday, December 15, 2008

- Wust El-Balad at After 8 10:00 PM

- Fathy Salama and his troupe Sharkiat with special guests Screwdriver in the Open Air Theatre of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- Rock Night with Cairokee and Nagham Masry in the Wisdom Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre 8:00 PM


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

- Cairo Opera Orchestra conducted by Thomas Herzog with Spanish soprano Begoña Alberdi and Spanish dancer Bettina Castaño presents a “Zarzuela” Gala at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM

- Egypt Philarmonic Society in the Small Hall of Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- Nass Makan (Nubian music, Zikr and Sufi songs, Sudanese music and songs) at the Makan Centre 9:00 PM

- United Nile Reggae at the Cairo jazz Club 10:00 PM


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

- Early Music Crossover by Horus Ensemble and Los Otros (Germany) in the Small Hall of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- Mazaher Ensemble (Music of the Delta) at the Makan Centre 9:00 PM

- Al-Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at the Ghouri Caravansaray 8:30 PM


Thursday, December 18, 2008

- French DJ and House Master D’Julz at the French Cultural Centre in Mounira 9:00 PM

- Eftekasat (Oriental Jazz) in the Wisdom Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre 8:00 PM

- Sahra at After 8 10:00 PM


Friday, December 19, 2008

- Christmas Concert by the Coptic Hymn Ensemble conducted by Diaa Sabri at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM

- Folklore Music from the Oasis of Siwa with the Amazigh Troupe in the Wisdom Hall of el Sawi Cultural Centre 8:30 PM

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cancellation of tonight's events

Just back from the desert and got notice that both shows listed in the Agenda for tonight (Mazaher Ensemble and Al-Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group) will not take place.
Sorry for the late notice; ... hopefully you're still on holiday and did not consider going anyway.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

BLOG ON HOLIDAY

Cairowanderer will go wandering for a week in the deserts of Egypt.
Those who stay in Cairo may wanto to check out how to spend an intelligent evening scrolling to the post below or by clicking "Latest Weekly Agenda" just here on the right side.

Happy Eid Al-Adha to you all!

AGENDA MUSIC DEC. 6 - DEC. 12

Saturday, December 6, 2008

- Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andreas Spörri with solists Hassan Sharara (violin) and Osama Farid (Viola) presents works from Mozart and Beethoven in the Main Hall of Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- Wust El Balad, live in the River Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 8:30 PM

- Al-Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at the Ghouri Caravansaray 8:30 PM

- Beshir (Modern Folk from Upper Egypt) at the Cairo Jazz Club 9:30 PM

- Radio Muezzin (A Documentary Concert) by Stefan Kaegi (Germany) in the World Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre 6:00 PM


Sunday, December 7, 2008

- Amer El Toni’s Al-Mawlaweya Al-Masreya (Sufi songs and dance) in the River Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre 8:30 PM

- Omar Khayrat (Piano) performs a collection of his own compositions accompanied by the Cairo Opera Orchestra in the Main Hall of Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- Beshir (Modern Folk from Upper Egypt) at After 8 10:00 PM

- El-Nil Troupe for folk instruments (Folk music and songs) at Beit Al-Suheimi 8:00 PM


Monday, December 8, 2008

- Wust El Balad at After 8 10:00 PM


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

- Black Tehama live in the River Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre 9:00 PM


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

- Mazaher Ensemble (Music of the Delta) at the Makan Centre 9:00 PM

- Al-Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at the Ghouri Caravansaray 8:30 PM


Thursday, December 11, 2008

- Heritage Ensemble for Arab Music conducted by Farouk El Bably at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM

- Fairouz Misr (Arabic music) live in the Wisdom Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 8:00 PM


Friday, December 12, 2008

- Elena Dzamashvili (Georgia) Piano Recital in the Small Hall of Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- Yorka Band in concert at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM

- Rania Shaalan in the River Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre 8:30 PM

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Theatre in French

Yesterday I was too busy to write a post. In fact there wasn't much to write about, other than what was already in the weekly agenda.
Today is sort of another day of the kind, but I want to put down few lines about a theatre performance that will take place today, Wednesday, December 3 at 8:00 PM in the French Cultural Centre in Mounira. The actor Vladislav Galard will present a mise-en-scene of texts of Albert Cossery, an Egyptian writer who lived and worked most of his life in Paris until his death in 2008.
Free entry.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Two Art Galleries & a Movie

After the flurry of cultural opportunities offered by the month of November, this month starts on a much sober note. Why not taking the opportunity to visit two interesting exhibitions of contemporary art then? They are even at a walking distance one from the other, in the district of Zamalek.

The first is called "Labyrinth" (see here), from the renowned Egyptian artist Mohamed Abla at the Zamalek Art Gallery, 11 Brazil St. , running until December 4, while the second is a collective exhibition of four artists from Alexandria called "Pharos of Arts" (see here) at the Al Masar Gallery at 157b 26th of July St., running until December 15.

And while you are around and wait for dinner time, you might even drop in at the Italian Cultural Centre at 3, Sheikh al-Marsafi St. where at 7:00 will be screened the wonderful movie "L'ultimo bacio" by Gabriele Muccino.

Wouldn't it be a wonderful evening?

TIP: See Art Review ARTMAPS for locations

Friday, November 28, 2008

CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL - FINAL DAY

The first of the last two picks of this festival is a Turkish movie about an unscrupulous politician. In competition at Cannes, "Three Monkeys" received good reviews. It seems to be a bit on the rough side and slow but still worth seeing for many. "Three monkeys" will be screened today, Sunday, November 28 at Metro Cinema at 9:30 PM. You can read a review here


"The Night of the Innocents" is a Cuban movie about a young man who lands, severely beaten, in an hospital in Havana on the night of December 28 (hence the title). It will be screened at the Nile City 1 Cinema at 9:30 PM. You can read a review here

And one last tip: if you haven't seen it yet, do not lose last opportunity to see the Italian movie "Gomorra", showing at 9:30 at the Nile City 2 Cinema.

Full program of the last day of the Festival at http://www.cairofilmfest.org

Thursday, November 27, 2008

AGENDA MUSIC NOV. 29 - DEC 5

Saturday, November 29, 2008

- Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andreas Spörri with soloist Mohamed Hamdy (Clarinet) presents works from Rossini, von Weber, Rachmaninov and Brahms in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- The Egyptian Philarmonic Society conducted by Ahmed Al-Saedi with soloist Laura Mikkola (Piano) presents works from Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert at the Manasterly Palace 8:00 PM

- Anoushka (The famous Egyptian singer of Armenian descent presents a repertoire of Arabic songs) in the Wisdom Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 8:00 PM

- Al-Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at the Ghouri Caravansaray 8:30 PM

- The Cairo Opera Company presents “The Medium”, opera by Gian Carlo Menotti at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM


Sunday, November 30, 2008

- AUC Chamber Singers Recital conducted by John Baboukis in the Art Gallery of AUC New Cairo Campus 7:30 PM

- The Arab Music Heritage Ensemble conducted by Farouk El-Babli at the Arabic Music Institute at 22, Ramsis St. 8:00 PM

- Bashir at After 8 10:00 PM

- El-Nil Troupe for folk instruments (Folk music and songs) at Beit Al-Suheimi 8:00 PM

- The Cairo Opera Company presents “The Medium”, opera by Gian Calrlo Menotti at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM


Monday, December 1, 2008

- Screwdriver, 19th Band and Nagham Masri at the Cairo Jazz Club 9:30 PM


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

- Cairo Opera Company accompanied by the Cairo Opera Orchestra conducted by Nayer Nagui performs “La Bohème” by Giacomo Puccini in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- The Religious Song Ensemble conducted by Essam Abdel Moneim celebrates the Season of Hajj in the Small Hall of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

- Cairo Opera Company accompanied by the Cairo Opera Orchestra conducted by Nayer Nagui performs “La Bohème” by Giacomo Puccini in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- Chamber Wind Ensemble conducted by Mohamed Hamdy plays music by Dvorak, R. Strauss and Abdel Rahim in the Small Hall of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- Mazaher Ensemble (Music of the Delta) at the Makan Centre 9:00 PM

- Osiris Singers in concert in the Ewart Memorial Hall of AUC Tahrir Square Campus 8:00 PM

- Al-Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at the Ghouri Caravansaray 8:30 PM


Thursday, December 4, 2008

- Cairo Opera Company accompanied by the Cairo Opera Orchestra conducted by Nayer Nagui performs “La Bohème” by Giacomo Puccini in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- AUC Arab Music Ensemble conducted by Wael El Mahawally in the Art Galler of AUC New Cairo Campus 7:30 PM


Friday, December 5, 2008

- Cairo Opera Company accompanied by the Cairo Opera Orchestra conducted by Nayer Nagui performs “La Bohème” by Giacomo Puccini in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- City Band (Contemporary Egyptian Songs) in the Wisdom Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 8:00 PM

CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL DAY 9

Today I chose two beautiful movies about women. My first pick of the day is an Award winning Spanish movie called "La Soledad". It is a no-frill portrait of women's life in present day Spain with a terrorist bomb thrown in to add further misery to their life. You can read a review here. La Soledad (Solitary Fragments) will be screened today, Thursday, November 27 at the Galaxy Cinema 7:00 PM



The second pick of the day is about the remarkable life of a woman born in the mid 19th century with exceptional artistic skills discovered by accident by an art dealer who employ her as maid. All seems set for an happy ending, but ... "Seraphine", a moving French movie about art and feelings will be screened at the Good News Cinema inside the Grand Hyatt at 12:00 AM and 6:30 PM



Full festival program at http://www.cairofilmfest.org

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL DAY 8

Today you have a chance to see one of the best and most controversial Egyptian productions of the year. "Fawzeya's secret recipe", who participated in the Middle East Film Festival in Abu Dhabi, winning a prize for best actress, will be screened tonight, Wednesday, November 26 at 9:00 at the Good News cinema, inside the Grand Hyatt. For a review of the movie, click here


As for the second pick, I suggest a movie that has, on the surface, little to do with Egypt or the Arab world, ... but only on the surface. "Battle in Seattle" is a movie about the clashes (and what lies beneath) that marred the WTO meeting there in 1999. A political movie with a good cast (Charlize Theron is also there), it has been very well received by the public in the US and has been warmly recommended to me. "Battle in Seattle" will be screened at the Nile City 1 at 9:30 PM. To read a review, click here


Full festival program at http://www.cairofilmfest.org

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL DAY 7

If you are landing on this blog these days for the first time, you might think that this is all about movies. Well, in fact it is not. Everybody who knows me and my blog knows as well that I am a musicophile (as Oliver Sacks would put it), hence the presence from the very beginning of the Weekly Agenda for Music, and - sadly -the delay in posting a Weekly Agenda for Figurative Arts (but it is coming).
Thing is, it is the film festival that rules for these ten days and the offer on the musical side is somehow scarce. I remind you that you can always access the latest weekly agenda for music from the link on the top right of the page.

And now to the two picks of the day. Whenever it makes sense, I tend to favour movies from the area or movies that are dealing with topics that are of more specific interest to somebody living in this part of the world, to enhance knowledge and understanding. The first pick of the day is a Turkish movie that deals with honour killings. "Hidden Faces" (you can read a review here) will be shown at Nile City 2 cinema today Tuesday, November 25 at 7:00 PM


The second pick of the day is a relatively old (1993) Mexican movie who has won several awards and is considered a masterpiece of Mexican Cinema. "The Beginning and the End" by Arturo Ripstein is a drama about the struggle against poverty of a middle-class family after the death of the family's breadwinner. If you are asking yourself what's the connection, well, it is an adaptation of the book with the same title from the great Naguib Mahfouz. "The Beginning and the End" will be screened at the Good News cinema inside the Grand Hyatt at 9:00 PM


Full program of the festival at http://www.cairofilmfest.org/default.aspx

Monday, November 24, 2008

CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL DAY 6

Only one pick today because I did not find anything else that I knew or heard about worth mentioning. "Shoot on Sight" is a British thriller about a police officer of Pakistani origin asked to investigate the police shooting of a terrorist suspect in the London underground (sounds familiar?). Predictably the movie has attracted mixed reviews. Today Monday, November 23 at 7:00 at the Cosmos 2 Cinema* you can decide for yourself.
To go to the movie website, click here and for reviews, here


Full festival program at www.cairofilmfest.org

* The Cosmos cinema is at 12, Amad El-Din St., Downtown

Sunday, November 23, 2008

CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL DAY 5

A quiet yet emotionally intense movie about human relationship, is my first pick of the day. The Spanish/Polish production "Awaking from a dream" will be shown today, Saturday, November 23 at 4:00 PM at City Stars 1 Cinema. Click here to go to the movie's website, and here for a review of the movie.
And if you have the afternoon free, do consider to stay for the next movie at the same cinema, Almodovar's wonderful "Volver", with Penelope Cruz, starting at 7:00 PM.


And a deeply introspective movie about an old Indian Shakespearean actor coming to term with the passing of time is my second pick. "The Last Lear" will be shown at 6:30 Pm at Good News Cinema. Click here to go to the movie's website and here for a review


Full program of the festival here

Saturday, November 22, 2008

CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL DAY 4

A wonderful, bittersweet portrait of life in Ramallah, as experienced by a taxi driver who in reality should be a judge. Selected for taking part to the San Sebastian Film Festival, this is considered one of the best Palestinian movie ever. Showing today, Saturday, November 22 at Good News 3 Cinema at 4:00 PM. Read a review of the movie here


Well, I am sure there must be some other good films worth watching today, but browsing through the list there was nothing that attracted my attention.
And I admit I am in a bit of a hurry, it's European Charity Bazaar day at the Nile Hilton.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL DAY 3

"Ma Salama Jamil" is a Danish movie written and directed by a Palestinian-Danish man, about the struggle of a young man who refuses to be a pawn in a game he does not want to play . By the way, the boy is an Arab, and is name is Jamil, and he lives in Scandinavia. I haven't seen it but it is considered a very inspired and inspiring movie. Showing Thursday November 21 at Nile City 1 Cinema at 1:30 PM and at 5:30 PM in the Small Theatre of the Cairo Opera House. Click here to go to the movie's website and here to read a review


"Basra" is an Egyptian movie by Ahmed Rashwan about a photojournalist in the city of Basra shortly before the US-UK strike against Iraq. The leading role is played by Bassem Samra (Yacoubian Building), one of the best Egyptian actors around. For me, that's enough to qualify for today's second pick. Showing at the Good News cinema at 4:00 PM


Click here to go to the Festival website for the full program

AGENDA MUSIC Nov. 22 - Nov. 28

Saturday, November 22, 2008

- Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Müller, with Karim Samir Saleh (Violin) presents works from Glazunov, Mendellssohn and Brahms at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM

- Nagham Masri at the Cairo Jazz Club 10:00 PM

- Al-Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at the Ghouri Caravansaray 8:30 PM

- STOMP in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM


Sunday, November 23, 2008

- Al-Hadrah Troupe (Sufi and Religious singing) at the Qubbet Al-Ghouri 8:00 PM

- STOMP in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM

- Black Theama and Massar Egbari double bill concert in the River Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 8:30 PM

- El-Nil Troupe for folk instruments (Folk music and songs) at Beit Al-Suheimi 8:00 PM


Monday, November 24, 2008

- Wust El-Balad at After 8 10:00 PM


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

- Cairo Choral Society will be singing Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, Beethoven Choral Fantasy and pieces from Handel’s Messiah in the All Saints’ Cathedral in Zamalek (behind the Marriott Hotel) 8:00 PM

- Salma El-Assal (Sudan/Traditional Sudanese songs) at the Makan Centre 9:00 PM


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

- Cairo Choral Society will be singing Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, Beethoven Choral Fantasy and pieces from Handel’s Messiah in the Ewart Hall of the American University in Cairo (Downtown Campus) 8:00 PM

- Mazaher Ensemble (Music of the Delta) at the Makan Centre 9:00 PM

- Al-Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at the Ghouri Caravansaray 8:30 PM


Thursday, November 27, 2008

- Abdel Halim Nowera Ensemble for Arab Music conducted by Salah Ghoubashi (Classical Arab songs) at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM

- Egoz (Rock) at the Cairo Jazz Club 10:00 PM

- Sahra (Rai music) at After 8 10:00 PM


Friday, November 28, 2008

- …. maybe you should consider going for a movie given that it’s the last night of the Cairo International Film Festival :-))

CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL DAY 2

Roberto Saviano is a young Italian journalist/writer who wrote a book, "Gomorra", which has made him one of the most sought after figures in the Italian artistic scene, and, sadly, in others much less flattering and glamorous quarters. The book turns upside down the world of the Camorra, the Napoli-based organised crime syndicate. Saviano is presently under a police protection scheme and his whereabouts are unknown; some claim he may not even be in Italy anymore.
Matteo Garrone has made a movie out of this book, a movie that has received enthusiastic reviews, both in Italy and abroad. This is my first pick of today Thursday, November 20, 2008, showing at 12:00 AM (ouch!) at the Good News cinema inside the Grand Hyatt. Find out more here


Ken Loach has made some wonderful movies. Most, if not all, have explored the impact that society has on human beings of all walks of life. An explorer of the "common man" daily struggles, he delivers us, with "It's a free world", another masterpiece. That's my second pick of the day, showing at the Good News Cinema inside the Grand Hyatt at 9:00 PM. To know more click here


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

RANIA SHAALAN - LIVE

I know it is really short notice, but I just got it now!
Rania Shaalan, one of the nicest Egyptian voices and definitely one of Egypt's best songwriters, is playing tonight, Wednesday, November 19 at 8:00 PM in the Ewart Hall of the American University in Cairo.
She is really good, so, if you get the chance, go and see the concert.

You can read about her in this excellent article of the Daily Star and listen some of her songs following this link

CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL DAY 1

My personal highlights of today, Wednesday, November 19, 2008 are Pedro Almodovar’s VOLVER, with Penelope Cruz (showing at 9:00 PM at the Galaxy in Rhoda island). If you want to know more about the movie, clic here



and Sean Penn’s INTO THE WILD, with Eddie Vedder’s magnificent soundtrack (showing at 9:00 PM at the Good News Cinema inside the Grand Hyatt). More about the movie here




For the full festival program: http://www.cairofilmfest.org/cinema/cinema.aspx

Monday, November 17, 2008

STOMP in Cairo

STOMP is here. The choreography and percussion sensation show is visiting Cairo for the first time. For some, it is the event of the year.
I originally thought I would not post anything about the show because of the bizarre marketing strategy of the organizers who initially gave the impression that tickets were offered only to selected groups of people (incidentally, the Cairo Opera House posted the event in its website as a “private event”), then made purchase possible through telephone numbers (02 27390144/132), and now, it seems, have finally given the possibility to buy tickets directly at the COH ticket counters, like for any other public performance held there. I also heard that a ticket is going to blow a hole in your wallet; I do not know, and honestly … I’ll leave it to you to find out if you are interested.

STOMP will perform in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House from Thursday November 20 to Sunday, November 23 8:00 PM.

To find out more about STOMP, you can visit http://www.stomp.co.uk/

Sunday, November 16, 2008

JAZZ FACTORY, CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL & TOWNHOUSE GALLERY

The JAZZ FACTORY is over. From a spectator’s point of view it has been a success. If we put aside a couple of blunders (not having properly advertised the opening night as invitation only and the last minute change of venue of the Siwan concert), we have witnessed good quality performances, good acoustic, shows starting in time and keeping to the schedule, a good atmosphere and, last but not least, the great results of the “RemixPlus project”. Good job and thank you to all involved. One last thing: will we ever see a CD production of the Festival? It would be very nice.


The CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL will start on November 18. This time we know very well that the opening night is invitation only, but the following days will offer a myriad of opportunities to see good cinema at several venues around town. I will try to signal what I consider the highlights, but the program is so vast that I suggest you check regularly the Festival’s website. To do so, click Theaters in the Home Page and select a venue.


And to keep you “warm”, why not heading this evening, November 16, 2008 downtown to the Townhouse Gallery on Champollion St. for the “Intoxications” visual trip? At 7:00 PM Nat Muller will present three short movies from Lebanon, France and the Netherlands about intoxications of various kinds. See http://www.thetownhousegallery.com/main7.html for more info

Friday, November 14, 2008

"JAZZ FACTORY" - FINAL DAY

The following artists will be performing tonight Friday, November 14, 2008 at the Amir Taz Palace starting at 7:00 PM. Free admission

Alex Wilson (UK)
As a composer, arranger, performer and educator, Alex Wilson is one of the UK’s foremost Latin music producers. He has travelled over fifty countries to perform music in a multitude of projects. In 1993, after gaining a degree in Electronics and Computer Engineering from the University of York, he embarked on a professional career as a pianist, being snapped up to perform and record with several important artists. Of his five solo albums, his latest, Inglaterra, has been a worldwide hit on the salsa scene.
As a composer and musical director Alex has attracted commissions from NITRO (Britain’s leading black theatre company), the Royal Opera House, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Society for the Promotion of New Music. He has worked as a record producer for various artists, most recently Gwyn Allen in I Love Louis – A Creole Tribute to Louis Armstrong.
Alex was born in the UK and was brought up in Britain, briefly in Sierra Leone followed by Austria and Switzerland and has also studied in the US.
http://www.alexwilson.net/

Toufic Farroukh (Lebanon) & Charbel Rouhana (Lebanon)
Toufic Farroukh is a saxophone player and composer of jazz with a middle-eastern flavour stemming from his bi-cultural roots in Lebanon and France. His brother was a saxophone player and it was him who guided him to this instrument and taught him it's ABCs.
When he moved from Beirut to Paris, where he studied music in the conservatory and in the Advanced College of Music, saxophone was his first goal. His familiarity with it emerged through modern music, particularly the alto saxophone.
In fact, he did not study jazz and its roots at all, nor played jazz on the saxophone. Despite what he learned from the musical institutions in Paris, he is still a self-made musician, who learns and composes by himself. Since then, he started writing his own music.
Hear his music at: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=182228061

Charbel Rouhana is a Lebanese oud player, born in 1965 in Aamchit, Lebanon. Charbel pursued his music education at the Holy-Spirit University in Kaslik and obtained his diploma in oud instrumentation in 1986 and his M.A. in Musicology in 1987.
One of his major achievements is establishing a new methodology in playing the oud. This method was published and adopted by the National Conservatory of Music and the Faculty of Music in the Holy Spirit University, where he has been teaching since 1986. During the 80's he was member of Al-Mayadine ensemble, playing alongside Marcel Khalife.
Rouhana has been performing live events since 1984, touring several countries, venues, and festivals. He is also a winner of several national awards, Charbel also won the first prize at the Hirayama Competition in 1995 in Japan, for Best Composition, Hymn of Peace.
http://www.charbelrouhana.net/

BSB (Netherlands)
Sean Bergin is a saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, educator and band leader. Born in South Africa in 1948 he was naturally influenced by the rich South African jazz and being in Amsterdam in the 1970’s the creative ideas of the improvisers got under his skin. These different elements led to an original sound of his own. In 2000 he won the Boy Edgar prize, a top Dutch jazz award.
Victor de Boo started to play drums at the age of 12. He has a history of performances with great bands and musicians touring Holland, Europe, USA , Canada, Australia, India and Indonesia. He has released two recordings as a band leader: Made By Mates (1998) with Dale Barlow and Scott Tinkler and Live At The Bimhuis (2000) with Wolter Wierbos and Anton Goudsmit as well as contributing to a number of other albums. Recently he has been working with the Sean Bergin Trio, JC Trans Orchestra, Sven Schuster Quartet as well as other bands.
Jacko Schoonderwoerd, Bass Guitar, was born in 1962 in Amsterdam. He has participated in many projects and recordings such as Nansika , also with Sean Bergin and Victor de Boo, an album of South African jazz standards written by Abdullah Ibrahim and members of the Blue Notes.

André Ceccarelli Trio (France)
With the release of his solo albums, Ceccarelli in 1978 and André Ceccarelli in 1981, André Ceccarelli became one of European jazz's most promising young musicians. Joined by top-ranked jazz and progressive players, including Didier Lockwood, Jannick Top, Christian Escoude, and Francois Jeanneau, and vocalist Alex Ligertwood of the Brian Auger Band and Santana fame, Ceccarelli set the pace for a pair of memorable recordings.
"Symbolically", André wanted to inaugurate his latest album with the entire Ceccarelli dynasty present: Jean, the father and master drummer from whom the rest flows, but also his brother Jean-Paul and his son Régis. Stephy Haik accompanies him in his Album Carte blanche.
With André Ceccarelli, as every track on this album proves, technical mastery and faculty for adaptation go hand-in-hand with stylistic maturity and musicality.

* All artist biographies taken from the official Jazz Factory Program

Thursday, November 13, 2008

AGENDA MUSIC Nov. 15 - Nov. 21

Saturday, November 15, 2008
- Antonio Gades Ballet Company presents Bizet’s opera Carmen in the Main Hal of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM
- Baroque Music Violin & Piano Recital with Hassan Sharara (violin) in the Small Hal of the cairo Opera House 8:00 PM
- Al-Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at the Ghouri Caravansaray 8:30 PM
- Religious Song Ensemble, conducted by Essam Abdel Moneim at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM
- Bashir at the Cairo Jazz Club 10:00 PM

Sunday, November 16, 2008
- Antonio Gades Ballet Company presents Bizet’s opera Carmen in the Main Hal of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM
- El Masnaa “2” (Sticks Percussion Show) in the River Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 8:30 PM
- Vadim Rudenko (Pianist - Russia) plays works from Mozart, Chopin, Rachmaninov & Kapustin at the Manasterly Palace 8:00 PM
- Bashir at After 8 10:00 PM
- El-Nil Troupe for folk instruments (Folk music and songs) at Beit Al-Suheimi 8:00 PM
- Arab Music Heritage Ensemble conducted by Farouk El-Babli at the Arab Music Institute 8:00 PM

Monday, November 17, 2008
- El Masnaa “3” hosting Karim Nagy (Oriental and Western Percussion Show) in the Wisdom Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 8:30 PM
- Wust El Balad at After 8 10:00 PM

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
- Machine Eat Man by Mohamed Ragab (Electro, Indie, Rock) in the Wisdom Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 8:30 PM

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
- El Bakawat (Turkey) in the Wisdom Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 8:00 PM
- Mazaher Ensemble (Music of the Delta) at the Makan Centre 9:00 PM
- Al-Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at the Ghouri Caravansaray 8:30 PM

Thursday, November 20, 2008
- Galatea Quartet (Switzerland) in the Small Hall of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM
- Hewale Sounds (Ghana) in the Wisdom Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 8:00 PM
- National Arab Music Ensemble directed by Selim Sahab at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM
- Sahra (Rai music) at After 8 10:00 PM

Friday, November 21, 2008
- Galatea Quartet (Switzerland) in the Small Hall of the Cairo Opera House 8:00 PM
- Marwa Samy (Fusion) at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM