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.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

EL TANBURA and, for the first time, YOUNG TANBURA live at El Tanbura Hall

A quarter of a century ago, in the city of Port Said, a group of Damma and Simsimia artists undertook the responsibility to gather, keep, and revive this musical legacy which was under the threats of loss and vanishing. These artists responded to Zakaria Ibrahim's call for establishing a new band to achieve those goals. This was the beginning of El Tanbura band.

In the first five years, the band successfully managed to gather 20 hours of that precious legacy which is orally transmitted through consecutive generations and had never been documented before. The band documented it in writing, recording, video, and photography. As important are the live performances which have continued over 24 years and through which the band presents regular, weekly shows on the beach of Port Said. These shows are presented free to the people of the city whose ancestors had helped in creating this special heritage.

The band also presents two annual festivals held in the city streets: one is held in the spring and the other on Victory Day 23r (of December) which commemorates the peoples' victory over the tri-partite attack of France, Britain and Israel in 1956. The resistance songs which the people created during this attack and after have become an important part of the band's repertoire. The band has continued to compose new patriotic songs for other situations and events, such as the Israeli occupation of Palestine., the American invasion of Iraq, the 50th anniversary of the nationalization of the Suez Canal, the war of 1956, the revolution of 25th January - during which the band performed often in Tahrir square - and, most recently, the first anniversary of this same revolution for which they composed the "Aadi El Dalma" song.

In 2003, under the direction and encouragement of El Mastaba, the members of El Tanbura established a school in Port Said for teaching a new generation this art of singing, percussion, instruments and dancing. Young Tanbura, as it is called, is run by Mohsen El Ashry, and this young band has developed to the point that they perform with a high level of professionalism in Port Said, Cairo, Alexandria, and other places.*

This coming Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 9:00 PM they will perform for the first time in El Tanbura Hall along with El Tanbura band. Ticket: 20 pounds delivered at the front counter.

* Notes prepared by El Mastaba Center for Egyptian Folk Music

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