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 or

Read about Cairo Live Events Guide on The Daily News Egypt

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Eid El-Fitr

Cairo Live Events Guide will go on holiday for a week. For those who stay there will be Cairo Opera production Odysseus and the Puppet Musical El-Laila El-Kebira going on during the holidays plus the regular cinema screening whose listing you can find on Yallabina website.

Happy Eid El-Fitr holidays to you all.

ANDREA BOCELLI in Alexandria

Andrea Bocelli in concert in Egypt???

Well, it looks as if it is not an hoax, even if advertisement has been low key to say the least. I got this news from reliable sources but, curiously, it is not yet on the BA website nor has appeared, to my knowledge, on any magazine.

So, if all goes well, Andrea Bocelli is going to sing in the Great Hall of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina together with the BA orchestra conducted by Sherif Mohie Eldin, on Saturday, October 11 2008.

Tickets are available at the BA’s Tickets Window and in Cairo’s Virgin Megastore: Tickets prices 1000 – 500 – 250 EGP

Yes, I know this is the CAIRO live events guide, but how could I pass in silence such an event? A weekend in Alexandria capped with a concert like this sounds like a good tip, does it not?

For more information you can call
Hala Abdelwahab Head, Resource Development Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) Shatby, 21526 Alexandria, Egypt
Tel: + 20 3 4839999 Ext. 1128
Fax: + 20 3 48 20 473

"ODYSSEUS" Dance Opera

For those who stay in Cairo during the Eid El-Fitr holidays, the Cairo Opera Ballet Company with the Opera Singers and Choir offer a new production of the dance opera Odysseus.

Created and directed by Renato Greco, this new production has an Italian led artistic direction with music from Dino Scuderi, coreography by Maria Teresa Del Medico, lyrics by Stefano Curina, digital scenography by Marco Schiavoni and with Erminia Kamel as Artistic Director. I believe it will be a very interesting performance and I hope to be able to see it.

Odysseus will be performed for four consecutive evenings, from Saturday, October 4 to Tuesday, October 7 at 8:00 PM in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House (do not forget your jacket and tie!)

Monday, September 29, 2008


Shortly after the end of the Eid El-Fitr holidays, dance fans, and modern dance ones in particular, will be presented with an occasion not to be missed, both for the relative scarcity of the offer of modern dance in Cairo, and for the absolute quality of the performers: the Swiss Drift Company.

Formed in 1992, the ensemble Drift Company is one of the best groups of the Swiss dance scene. They have received the Swiss Price for Dance and Choreography in 2007 and have performed in 29 countries. This is their second appearance in Egypt, after their participation in the Alexandria Dance Festival 2005/06 at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

In Cairo they will present their piece “Unbreakable”, a dance production with four men who pursue crooked ways while travelling together on the wrong track. Imperturbably they always fall on their feet, more or less, and never give up.

In the frame of the “Swiss Tales” programme in occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Cairo Opera House, the Drift Company will perform on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th of October at 8:00 PM at the Gomhouria Theatre.

More about the group at and about the specific piece that will be presented in Cairo at

Sunday, September 28, 2008

El-Laila El-Kebira Puppet Musical

El-Leila El-Kebira (The Big Night) is a famous puppet operetta from the late 50s, written by the poet Salah Jahin with music from Sayyed Mekkawi.
The piece centers on the last night of a moulid (an old Egyptian popular tradition celebrating the birthdays of Sufi saints and of the Prophet Mohammed), depicting different scenes from this street carnival and featuring the characters that have been, and that to a certain extent still are to these days, the actors of the celebrations: from food stall vendors to jugglers, musicians and other performers.
It is an extremely playful, funny, colorful and entertaining way of dwelling into a tradition little known by many foreigners. Even if you do not understand Arabic, the catchy folk songs and rhymes that accompany the show should make this an enjoyable experience for you and your children.

The troupe bringing you the Puppet Musical El-Laila El-Kebira will perform Thursday 2nd , Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th of October at 8:00 PM at the El Geneina Theatre inside the Al-Azhar Park

Friday, September 26, 2008

AGENDA MUSIC September 27 - October 3

The end of Ramadan and the beginning of the Eid al-Fitr holidays fall in this week and this is reflected on the offer of live events around town. A quiet week all in all, especially from Tuesday 30 on, but not without its highlight: the Opening Concert of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra 50th Season. Many had tipped the Italian Marcello Mottadelli, guest conductor on a couple of concerts last season, as the successor of the Swiss Andreas Spörri, and it seems that this is the case, even if I did not find it announced officially yet. The website of the Cairo Symphony is not updated to this date and the one of the Cairo Opera House is just announcing the concert without mentioning conductor and program (no hurry, there is still tomorrow ... that's promotion!), but the orchestra is tipped to present Dvorak's Ninth Symphony.
I am looking forward to a season of interesting and good quality concerts like the one we got used to last year.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

- The Riff Band (Jazz) in the Wisdom Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 10:00 PM

- Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marcello Mottadelli present Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House 9:00 PM

- Al-Tanoura whirling dervishes at the Ghouri Caravansaray 9:00 PM

- Sayed El-Refaa (Sufi music and songs) in the Open Air Theatre of the Cairo Opera House 9:30 PM

- Asatizat Al-Tarab troupe led by Mohsen Farouk (Classical Arab Songs) at the Ghouri Palace 10:00 PM

Sunday, September 28, 2008

- Sheikh Ahmed El Toni (Sufi Songs) in the Wisdom Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 10:00 PM

- Oriental Takht (Classical Arab Songs) in the River Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 10:30 PM

- National Arab Music Ensemble conducted by Selim Sahab at the Arab Music Institute, Ramses Street (Downtown) 8:00 PM

Monday, September 29, 2008

- City Band (Contemporary Egyptian Music) in the Wisdom Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 10:00 PM

- The String Quartet plays Classical Music in the River Hall of the El-Sawi Cultural Centre 10:00 PM

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

- Abdel Halim Nowera Ensemble for Arab Music at the Gomhouria Theatre 8:00 PM

- Khedr El Attar (Nubian Music and Songs) in the River Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Centre 9:00 PM

- El Laila El Kebira (Puppet Musical) at the El-Genaina Theatre in the Al-Azhar Park 8:00 PM

Friday, October 3, 2008

- El Laila El Kebira (Puppet Musical) at the El-Genaina Theatre in the Al-Azhar Park 8:00 PM

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rony Barrak

Rony Barrak is a Lebanese percussionist regarded as one of the finest Darbouka player in the world.

The Darbouka, known also as Tablah, is a goblet shaped hand drum of ancient origin used extensively in the Middle East and in the Caspian Sea area.

Rony Barrak has the distinction of being a versatile musician interested in many musical genres and this has enabled him to take the Darbouka in ventures outside its traditional context. He has produced two CDs and worked with many renowned musicians including Vanessa Mae, Fairuz, Sarah Brightman, Dave Grusin and Talvin Singh. But Rony has always had a passion for Classical music, a passion that has provided him with the basic framework, technique and musical grammar. He has taken part in several Orchestral projects with the London Philharmonic, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Prague, and the WDR Symphony Orchestra among others.

If you want to know more, visit his website

Rony Barrak will perform today Thursday, September 25 2008 at 9:00 PM at the Geneina Theatre inside the Al-Azhar Park

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fathy Salama in concert

This concert did not make it into this week Agenda because ... I did not read anywhere nor received any info about it. But yesterday, I actually saw a flyer in the street, so ... I believe it is pretty sure it will take place.
Fathy Salama and Co. will perform on Friday, September 26 at 9:30 PM in the Open Air Theatre of the Cairo Opera House.
Strongly recommended!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Group Exhibition and Concert celebrating the memory of SAYED DARWISH

Sayed Darwish is one of the greatest figures in the Egyptian Musical Scene. Born in 1892, and passed away just 31 years later of an heart attack, his life achievements were so great that he is considered by many the father of Egyptian music. In his brief life, the singer and composer became a leader of the Egyptian “cultural renaissance”, and one of the bards of the 1919 Revolution. Perhaps his main achievement was to popularize music and to reflect in it people’s soul and their social and political demands. According to one author*, he played a crucial role in the adoption of Western techniques in writing music and in the increased use of Western instruments, considered more capable of expressing emotions. His song Bilady, Bilady, Bilady was to become Egyptian National Anthem in 1979.

* Philippe Vigreux “ Centralité de la musique égyptienne”, 1991

The Mahmoud Mokhtar Cultural Centre is holding a group exhibition celebrating the memory of Sayed Darwish. The inauguration takes place on Thursday September 23, 2008 at 9:00 PM. After the opening, there will be a musical concert by Dr. Hassan El Bahr Darwish Band. Free Entrance.

Mahmoud Mokhtar Museum

5, Tahrir Street

Tel.: 27351123

(Difficult to find, but worth it for both the stunning works of Egypt’s first modern sculptor and for the architecture of the museum itself. It is located on the southern tip of Zamalek, opposite the Opera House, on your right-hand side heading to Tahrir Square, after the Galaa Bridge. The museum is across a small bridge, wedged between the Cairo Sporting Club and the Public Gardens. More about the museum in Egypt Today online edition's excellent article

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Is there a photographer in you?

Are you always taking your camera with you? Do you think you have an eye for a good picture? Are you not a professional photographer? Are you older than 18? Well, here is a chance to get your work acknowledged.

The Delegation of the European Commission in Cairo organizes its first photographic competition in Egypt titled "Egypt, Life in a Picture".

All details and rules for participating can be found at

The deadline for the submission of the works is 12:00 PM on October 12, 2008.

Good luck

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Joubran Trio

The Trio Jubran, three brothers from Nazareth presently based in Paris, presents richly original acoustic compositions. They come from a family deeply rooted in music for several generations. The father is a oud maker very famous in the Arab world while the mother is a singer. The elder brother and oud player Samir started a solo career and released three solo albums before bringing in his two brothers, Wissam and Adnan, to form a trio in 2005, the first, and probably still only, oud trio on the musical scenes. In the same year they released an album called “Randana” and have recently released their second work, “Majaz”.

The Joubran Trio live performances are much appreciated for the extensive use of improvisation by the artists. The three brothers have performed in many festivals throughout the world, including Womex in Germany and the Festival of Nyon in France. They played at Carnegie Hall and at the Jerusalem Festival in 2007. They were invited by Daniel Baremboim to do a concert together in Spain and even played together with Massive Attack in a fundraising concert at the Brixton Academy.

The Franco-German television chain ARTE produced a documentary about the group.

For more information on the Trio and to listen in stream to their music, log on to their website

The Joubran Trio, one of the main attractions of the Ramadan concert season in Cairo, will perform at the Geneina Theatre in the Al-Azhar Park on Monday, September 22 at 9:00 PM

Thursday, September 18, 2008

AGENDA MUSIC September 20 - September 26

Another week full of events to enliven our evenings. Among the others, the first concert of the season for the Cairo Opera Orchestra, the Spanish musician specialized in ancient music Eduardo Paniagua, the Palestinian Jubran Trio, the Lebanese percussionist Roni Barrak and the very Egyptian Eftekasat Oriental Jazz band. And of course, the usual appointments with the whirling dervishes in the magnificient surroundings of the Ghouri Caravansaray. A wonderful fourth week of Ramadan to you all.

Saturday, September 20, 2008
- Eduardo Paniagua (Spain) at the El-Ghouri Palace 9:00 PM
- Al-Mahatta band (contemporary Egyptian songs) in the Wisdom Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Center 9:30 PM
- Al-Tanoura whirling dervishes at the Ghouri Caravansaray 9:00 PM
- Basheer, folklore music from Aswan at Beit Al-Harawi 9:00 PM

Sunday, September 21, 2008
- Cairo Opera Orchestra conducted by Nader Abbassi presents “Highlights from the Musicals” in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House 9:30 PM
- Eskendrella band accompanied by the Upper Egypt Choir in the Wisdom Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Center 10:00 PM
- Pop singer Nadia Mustafa at Beit El-Harawi 9:00 PM
- Al-Hadra Group with Sheikh Gouda at the Ghouri Palace 9:00 PM

Monday, September 22, 2008
- The Jubran Trio (Palestine) at the Geneina Theatre in Al-Azhar Park 9:00 PM
- Ashraf Mahrous (Oriental Jazz) in the Wisdom Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Center 10:00 PM
- Folkloric Group Luxor at the Cervantes Institute 20, Boulos Hana St. Dokki 9:00 PM
- Ghassane Al-Youssef (Oud) and Dina Abd El-Hameed at the Ghouri Caravansaray 9:00 PM
- Rehala Band, led by Hossam Shaker on qannun at the Amir Taz Palace 9:00 PM
- Al-Khalilaya Group at the Ghouri Palace 9:00 PM
- Abdou Dagher Arabic Violin Recital at the Manasterly Palace 9:00 PM
- Oriental Takht plays classical Arab songs in the River Hall of El-Sawi Cultural Center 10:00 PM

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
- Gala Concert Opera Singing at the Manasterly Palace 9:30 PM
- Religious Chants with Mahmoud Al-Tohami in the Open Air Theatre of the Cairo Opera House 9:30 PM
- Folkloric Group Tochka at the Cervantes Institute 20, Boulos Hana St. Dokki 9:00 PM
- Al-Semsemiya troupe from Port Said at the Ghouri Caravansaray 9:00 PM
- Sheikh El-Helbawi (Sufi Chants) at the Ghouri Palace 9:00 PM

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
- Al-Mawlaweya Al-Masreya El-Toni Troupe at the Ghouri Palace 9:00 PM
- Mazaher Ensemble (Music of the Delta) at the Makan Centre 9:00 PM
- Amir Taz Choir with singer Nadia Mostafa at the Amir Taz Palace 9:30 PM
- Al-Tanoura whirling dervishes at the Ghouri Caravansaray 9:00 PM

Thursday, September 25, 2008
- Abdel Halim Nowera Ensemble for Arab Music in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House 9:00 PM
- Roni Barrak (Lebanese percussionist) at the Geneina Theatre in al-Azhar Park 9:00 PM
- Hossam Saqr troupe for religious singing in the Open Air Theatre of the Cairo Opera House at 9:30 PM
- Baraka Band with Maryam Saleh at the Rawabet Performing Art Center 8:30 PM
- Eftekasat Sufi Jazz Tour at Beit Al-Harawi 9:00 PM

Friday, September 26, 2008
- Omar Khairat (piano) with the Cairo Opera Orchestra in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House 9:00 PM
- Basata Band in the Wisdom Hall El-Sawi Cultural Centre 10:00 PM

Art Review Online ARTMAPS

Bet you've asked yourself at least once ... where on earth is this Art Gallery?
The people of the Art Review, a bi-monthly magazine covering the local figurative art scene (see link in Useful Sources of Information), have come out with the great idea of detailed ARTMAPS that will lead you directly to the door of most Galleries in town. At present only the DOWNTOWN and ZAMALEK neighborhoods are covered, but they are working on the DOKKI and MAADI ones as well. It is really a good job.
See for yourself at

Now you have an excuse less for not going!

Photography Exhibition Anyone?

The exhibition "Russian Contemporary Photography" by

Sergey Borisov

Vadim Gushchin

Franciso Infante

Alexander Slyusarev

will open on Sunday, September 21, at 8 pm at the MASHRABIA GALLERY of Contemporary Art and will continue until October 16, 2008.

This exhibition presents a small, yet significant panorama of contemporary Russian photography. The unique wealth of this art is reflected in the wide range of themes and techniques of each artist, from still life to artefacts, and the diverse glances that each turns upon art and reality. The path that the photographers in this exhibition chose has also been deeply influenced by the historical moment in which their work developed, be it under the yoke of Soviet censorship, at the moment of the USSR’s decay or as the country opened up to the West.

MASHRABIA GALLERY of Contemporary Art

8, Champollion St. - Downtown Cairo

Tel. 2578 44 94 - Mob. 010 1704554

Open daily

except Fridays:

11 am - 8 pm

During Ramadan:

11 am - 3 pm, 8 - 11 pm

To know exactly where this Gallery is, see the previous post, open the link and ... good luck. A tip: it is in the Downtown section.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Eftekasat is probably the most famous Jazz, or rather Oriental Jazz, band in Egypt. The band was established in 2001 and in 2002 started to play live. Through their live performances they became known and appreciated by a wide public, including many expatriates. This brought them a grant to produce a record in 2006, Mouled Sidi El-Latini (The Latin Dervish). Their live act is really good and I am sure you will not be disappointed.

You can listen to some of their songs in stream at their myspace page

Articles on the media:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mazaher Ensemble

The Mazaher Ensemble is one of the most original groups on the Cairo scene. They carry on their shoulders the tradition of Zaar, a pagan religious custom that originated in Ethiopia during the eighteenth century and spread to North Africa and as far as Iran to the east. The musicians of Mazaher are among the last practitioners of this tradition in Egypt.

Zaar is a community healing ritual of drumming and dancing whose tradition is carried on mainly by women (men have the secondary roles) and whose main participants are women. This is reflected in the composition of the Mazaher Ensemble where three women are playing the leading roles. The music is played mostly on percussion instruments accompanied by the tanbura, a six-string lyre.

In Egypt Zaar is seen by many with suspicion because of its perceived meddling with magic and mystery that makes it un-Islamic. The practiced ritual has became limited in content and many of the poly-rhythmic songs and chants, distinctively different from other Egyptian music traditions, have been forgotten. Sadly, the practice of Zaar in Egypt has nearly vanished. According to the ECCA, few musicians now make or play the tanbura and not more than a dozen persons within greater Cairo still have knowledge of the musical legacy of the Zaar. In the whole of Egypt only around 25 people continue to practice this knowledge and this tradition. It is part of an underground culture and its music and songs have survived with little interference from outside influences, but at the same time, the ritual has become limited in its form and many of the songs have been lost.

The Mazaher Ensemble has participated in several festivals abroad, in Belgium ("Voix de Femmes"), France and Russia. Their Cairo performances take place on most Wednesdays at the Makan Center, 1 Saad Zaghloul Street, El Dawaween. Tel.: 02 27920878

More information, at the website of the Egyptian Center for Culture and Art (ECCA) 


Monday, September 15, 2008

Al-Mawlaweya Al-Masreya

The Mevlevis are a sufi order created in Konya (Turkey) in the 13th century by the followers of the great Persian poet and theologian Jalal ad-Din Rumi. Rumi, as is commonly known in the English-speaking world, left us many poems and treatises that have been translated in many languages (collection of poems are easily available in Diwan or Kotob Khan bookshops in Cairo) and that have established him as one of the most widely-read poet in the world.
But for our immediate interests, it is his son and followers that concern us, because they are the ones who divined the dance, chant and music ceremony called sema as a rite to get closer to God. And it is through that ceremony that the so-called Whirling Dervishes has become known to the world at large.
Typically, at a sema, a group of dervishes, accompanied by music performed on traditional instruments like the nay and the rabab, and by chants celebrating God and the Prophet, start turning around themselves, first slowly then more rapidly, until they reach a state of trance.

The Mawlaweya Al-Masreya is derived from the Turkish version but substantially different in its way of looking at the spiritual side of the ceremony (do not worry, I am not going to dwell into that), in the fact that it accepts women, and in its more modernist approach to the music, incorporating instrument such as the violin and the guitar. The most famous troupe of the Al-Mawlaweya Al-Masreya is the one led by what I believe is the initiator of the movement, Amer El-Toni, who founded his troupe in 1994 in Greece while studying music there.

Internationally recognized, the El-Toni Troupe will be performing Tuesday, September 16 at 9:00 PM in the gardens of the Cervantes Institute in Dokki.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Nesma Abdel-Aziz

Marimba or Xylophone is not an instrument that you would readily associate with Arabic music. But in fact its origins are African even though it has been adopted and extensively used in Latino music, becoming at all effects a Latin American instrument in people’s mind. The talented percussionist Nesma Abdel-Aziz is undoubtedly the star of the instrument in Egypt.
She started her career performing Latin-inspired material but gradually moved to assimilate her instrument with Arabic music producing covers of songs from the most famous Egyptian singers and composers. She collaborated with Omar Khairat and Naseer Shamma, among others. She has performed in various festivals including last year’s Egyptian Festival in Canada.

Articles: Al-Ahram 2009
Videoclips: YouTube

Friday, September 12, 2008

AGENDA MUSIC September 13 - September 19, 2008

The Ramadan music and dance season is in full swing. Next week will see an amazing number of performances in some of the most beautiful historical venues in the city. Wust El-Balad, Yehya Khalil, the Syrian Ornina Dance Company, 3MA, Eftekasaat, the Tunisian dancer Ghalia Benali, Fathy Salama and Maadi's favourite expat band The Fuuls are only some of the artists who will grace our evenings. Check out the list for more, go out, and enjoy.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

- Shelbaya and Folklore Songs at the El-Sawi Ramadan Village 10:30 PM

- Wageeh Aziz Ensemble in the Open Air Theatre of the Cairo Opera House 9:00 PM

- Wust El-Balad at Beit Al-Harawi 9:00 PM

- Yassin El-Tohami Troupe for Sufi and Religious songs at the Cervantes Institute 20, Boulos Hana St. Dokki 9:00 PM

- Al-Tannoura whirling dervishes at the Ghouri Caravansaray 9:00 PM

Sunday, September 14, 2008

- Sheikh Mohamed El Helbawi in the Patio of the French Cultural Centre 1, Madraset El Houk Al Ferensia St. Mounira 9:30 PM

- Al-Nil Troupe for folk instruments at Beit Al-Suheimi 10:00 PM

- Sherif Mostafa at the Wisdom Hall El-Sawi Cultural Centre 10:00 PM

- National Arab Music Ensemble, Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House 9:30 PM

- Nesma Abdel-Aziz at Beit Al-Harawi 9:00 PM

- Nour Akhyari Indonesian Troupe for Religious Chanting and Sufi songs at the Cervantes Institute 20 Boulos Hana St. Dokki 9:00 PM

Monday, September 15, 2008

- Flamenca Band in the Patio of the French Cultural Centre 1, Madraset El Houk Al Ferensia St. Mounira 9:30 PM

- Nubian Drums Group in the Gardens of the Cervantes Institute 20, Boulos Hana St. Dokki 9:00 PM

- Al-Tannoura Troupe at the Amir Taz Palace 9:00 PM

- Yehya Khalil oriental Jazz at Beit Al-Harawi 9:00 PM

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

- El Mawlaweya Group in the Gardens of the Cervantes Institute 20, Boulos Hana St. Dokki 9:00 PM

- Yehia Khalil at the French Cultural Centre 1, Madraset El Houk Al Ferensia St. Mounira 9:30 PM

- Wagih Aziz oud and chants at the Ceramics Creativity Center (Al-Fustat, close to the Amr mosque) 9:00 PM

- Nour Akhyari Indonesian Troupe for Religious Chanting and Sufi songs at the Ghouri Palace 9:00 PM

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

- El Tannoura Dances in the Gardens of the Cervantes Institute 20 Boulos Hana St. Dokki 9:00 PM

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

- Ornina Theatrical Dance Company (Syria) in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House 9:00 PM

- 3MA, Driss El Maloumi (Marocco), Rajeri (Madagascar) & Ballake Sissoko (Mali) Musical Creations for African Strings in the Patio of the French Cultural Centre 1, Madraset El Houk Al Ferensia St. Mounira 9:30 PM

Thursday, September 18, 2008

- Al-Tannoura whirling dervishes at the Al-Geneina Theatre 9:00 PM

- Eftekasaat Band at the Wisdom Hall El-Sawi Cultural Centre 10:00 PM

- Wust El Balad at the French Cultural Centre 1, Madraset El Houk Al Ferensia St. Mounira 9:30 PM

- Mehdat Saleh and his band in the Open Air Theatre of the Cairo Opera House 9:00 PM

- Al Tanbura from Port Said at the Amir Taz Palace 10:00 PM

- Ornina Theatre Dance Troupe (Syria) presents “The Jasmine Wreath” Main Hall Cairo Opera House 9:30 PM

- Abdel–Halim Noweira Arab Music Ensemble conducted by Salah Ghoubashi at the Gomhouria Theatre

Friday, September 19, 2008

- Ghalia Benali (Tunisia) in Romeo and Leila at the Geneina Theatre in Al-Azhar Park 9:00 PM

- Bedouin Jerry can Band at the French Cultural Centre 1, Madraset El Houk Al Ferensia St. Mounira 9:30 PM

- Fathy Salama in the Open Air Theatre of the Cairo Opera House 9:00 PM

- The Fuuls at the Maadi House 8:00 PM (Entry reserved to Maadi House Members and their guests)

You will find more information about most venues and some artists (more coming) in LABELS

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Fuuls

The Fuuls are an acoustic trio (guitars, sax, dobro, bass, vocals) that cross many musical boundaries. In a typical show, you might hear their unique version of songs from Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, The Who, Blind Faith, Steve Earle, Talking Heads, Neil Young, David Bowie, Rolling Stones as well as some originals.

Jeff began playing guitar and singing seriously in college during the American folk scare of the 1970s. Eden grew up playing music with her family and has been writing music since she was small. In 1993, Nate and Eden formed the band "Enormous".

Under the stars in the middle of the Sahara, sitting around the fire with their kids, Eden and Jeff discovered that there was something very special about the music they shared. The idea of playing together followed them back to Maadi. Nate joined them, bought a mail-order sax, Jeff shined up the dobro, Eden got her bass back from her sister and it was quickly apparent they this threesome was, without a doubt, THE FUULS.

For more information and to listen in stream to their music log on to

The Fuuls will be playing live at the Maadi House Friday, September 19th at 8:00 PM

Entry reserved to Maadi House Members and their guests.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yehya Khalil

Born in the Cairo district of Heliopolis, Yehya Khalil was introduced to jazz music in his teens by Voice of America’s Jazz hour show. In an environment not receptive towards this kind of music he did his best to build up a collection of records and to further his knowledge of the genre. At 14 he started playing and at 18 he was running a jazz program on the radio.
His big break came when he traveled to the States and was taken under Gene Krupa’s wings. The legendary drummer taught Khalil for five years and made of him not only a brilliant player but also an impassioned believer in the power of music to influence people’s life. During his time in the USA Yehya Khalil plays with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and John Coltrane and is recognized by critics as one of the greatest percussionist around. Always interested in blending styles, he also played with James Brown, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, among others.
Back to Egypt he started his mission to popularize jazz music in the country, playing regularly in clubs, cultural centers, and at the Opera House. He has helped many young musicians and still has the dream to see the opening of Egypt’s first Jazz School in the premises and under the administration of the Cairo Opera House. His repertoire encompasses Oriental music, Classical, Blues and Fusion of the 60s.
If you like Jazz music and/or percussions you should not miss the opportunity to attend his performances.
In 2008 he released a CD called "Rhythm of the Soul".

Yehya Khalil has a facebook page 

Articles on the press:
Al-Ahram Weekly Aug. 2010

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Beit Al-Harrawi

Beit al-Harawi, in the area to the south of the mosque of Al-Azhar, was built in 1731 and occupied until 1920. A joint French-Egyptian restoration project in the 90s has saved whatever could be saved of it with brilliant results. It is now home of the Arab House of Oud run by the famous oud player Naseer Shamma (see bio at and hosts concerts in its courtyard; it is a very evocative surrounding.
It is easy to reach there if you know where the main entrance of the Al-Azhar mosque is. Imagine you come out from the mosque, turn left and then again left, bordering the mosque’s southern walls. You are in Mohammed Abdou St. Continue along this alley (flanked on its right side by the Caravanserai of Qaytbay with the shop of the famous bookbinder Abd El-Zaher) until you find Beit Zeinab Khatun literally blocking your way. Follow the street bending on the right and you’ll find in front of you a small square closed to the traffic. To the far end of the square are two old houses. The one on the left is Beit al-Harawi (the one on the right is Beit Al-Sitt Wassila, also renovated). There you are! If you’re in for some shopping there is a lovely handicraft shop on the square itself.
The whole walk should not be more than 300 meters … but beware, I am terrible calculating distances. To me, walking in these alley is always so charming and effortless, and I stop so often to get into a building or to take a picture that I … “loose track”.
Address: Mohamed Abdou St., Tel. 25104174

Fathy Salama

Fathy Salama is undoubtedly a towering figure in the Egyptian musical scene. The keyboard player and composer has studied in Europe and the US with some of the leading musicians in the field, Barry Harris and Sun Ra among others, before coming back to Egypt in the 80’s to take the music scene by storm both as musician and producer. In an interview* he introduces himself as “ … an Egyptian, musician, composer, and producer pushing the alternative scene in Egypt and the Arabic world”. His main interest has always been to merge modern and traditional music together, a desire that has brought him to found his own group Sharkiat and that led to collaborations with other African artists, the more important being the one in the successful Youssou N’Dour album “Egypt” (Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album and BBC Award). He worked as well with the Swiss group The Maniacs, the Italian songwriter Eugenio Bennato and the Norwegian saxophone player Trygve Seim. He has done a project for the Berlin Jazz Festival, worked in theatre productions, did some flamenco and experimented with electronic music. He also won the prize for the Arabic world short film and feature film soundtrack.

His live shows are one of the best live act you can presently see in Cairo. If you like anything jazz, traditional, fusion, crossover, experimental or electronic, you’ll certainly like him.

To read more about him and listen on stream to some of his music, go to his myspace page at

* 2004 Interview with Afropop Worldwide